LOOKING TO THE OUTSIDE

Iran 2011 | FINANCE | INTERVIEW

TBY talks to Dr. Kourush Parvizian, Chairman and Managing Director of the Export Development Bank of Iran.

Dr. Kourush Parvizian
BIOGRAPHY
Dr. Kourush Parvizian is currently the Chairman and Managing Director of the Export Development Bank of Iran.

What is the main function of the Export Development Bank of Iran (EDBI)?

Nearly 20 years have passed since the establishment of EDBI. The main mission of the bank is to provide and extend a variety of facilities to finance Iranian exports. The bank has 36 branches inside the country and two representative offices, which are to turn into branches soon, so the total number will be 38. We also have some branches and representative offices abroad. The bank has been rated by international rating agencies and has achieved very good scores. In terms of Tier 1 capital we were ranked 319th and in terms of Assets Efficiency Ratio 249th among the world's top 1,000 banks as published in The Banker in 2010. Also, among the local banks in the country, on the side of capital, we are one of the top four. At the very beginning, the initial capital of the bank was financed by the local banks in Iran, and afterwards the government injected further capital into EDBI. Today, the capital has been mainly obtained through exporters and customers.

Which independent authorities audit the bank?

In Iran we have an independent organization called the Iran Audit Organization. It is authorized to supervise the accounts of financial institutions. There are also other independent institutions of the same nature that have been licensed by the official auditing institution in Iran. They have approved and supervised our relationships with our partners abroad.

Which parts of the world have you helped to fund techno-engineering services from Iran?

The projects that the bank has managed to finance are of much importance. For example, projects including electricity transmission lines, the installation of dams and power plants, the construction of houses, roads and bridges, projects for water treatment plants, public and internal transportation, industrial and agricultural investments, dairy products, and exporting a variety of health services and pharmaceuticals for both humans and animals. We finance these services and projects to Iraq, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Armenia, and also in African countries like Sudan, Senegal, the Ivory Coast, Djibouti, as well as countries in Latin America.

What percentage of what you do is trade financing, and what percentage is investment financing? What is the main focus of your activity?

According to our financing plan we have trade finance and the issue of financing buyers and suppliers of Iranian origin commodities. But the main activity of the bank has been divided into two sections: the working capital of exporters and at the same time financing investments, while the ratio between them is 60:40.

Do you have any difficulties in the repayment of these credits?

Despite being a country in a risky region, because of our technical point of view as well as our risk management supervising the repayment of resources, we have not experienced many problems in regard to the repayment of resources. At this point, only one or two of the letters of guarantee have been claimed. One of the letters of guarantee in Turkmenistan was claimed, but we were very fortunate to receive the money.

What percentage of applications for buyers' credit do you accept annually on average?

For each country we have allocated a credit ceiling and we are going to act according to the credit ceiling of that country. Inspecting the company itself, we are going to consider its country of origin. For example, for Iraq we have a ceiling of $300 million. With this ceiling, according to the rating we've made, we will extend our credit lines. In other words, different issues should be taken into consideration. For instance, for a country such as Djibouti we have a ceiling of $20 million, and we will act according to this ceiling. If a project has been put forward and it is beyond the ceiling, we need to make further assessments. For exporting commodities and goods we do not have problems, because these are usually short-term projects.