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Iran's private sector banks

Parsian Bank

Parsian Bank received its licence on September 16 2001, and opened to business on February 1 2002.

The bank's share capital has grown substantially, jumping from an initial $38 million to $40 million in July 2003 and $226 million in July 2004.

Its shares were listed on the Tehran Stock Exchange in November 2004.

Alireza Kashef, the bank's president of finance and economic development, says that because CBI rules limit individual shareholders to a 10% stake, Parsian's largest single shareholder is an oil pension fund company, with a 6% stake. However, the bank is seen as being tied to the country's auto industry, because various subsidiaries of the quasi-state car manufacturer Iran Khodro own 25% to 28% of its shares.

The bank aims to provide new products to individuals and corporates: "For now, we've started with retail banking, but we're going to expand ourselves into other fields, to provide a package to meet all our customers' needs," says Kashef.

Although Parsian is gradually developing its network and aims to have 120 branches by March 2006, it is also encouraging customers to use its internet banking facilities. Kashef believes his bank  distinguishes itself from the state banks by the quality of customer services it offers.

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