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Iran’s biggest banking merger to take place soon: Chief banker

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Iran is putting the finishing touches on its biggest banking merger, says the CBI governor.

The Central Bank of Iran governor Abdolnasser Hemmati says a planned merger of several of the country’s major banks is due to take place soon.

Hemmati said on his Instagram page on Thursday that the CBI was finalizing plans for incorporating several banks affiliated with Iran’s armed forces into second top lender Bank Sepah.

“The merger assembly of these banks will convene in the near future, closing the case for the most significant banking merger ever,” said Hemmati.

The CBI governor made the comments after a high-profile meeting attended by Iran’s Vice President Es’haq Jahangiri in which the second man in the Iranian administrative government reportedly gave the go-ahead for final moves on the banking merger.

The scheme involves Bank Sepah, the oldest bank in Iran and one of the three banks still owned by the government, and four banks and one credit institutes that are owned by various branches of the Iranian armed forces.

Iranian authorities say the amalgamation, originally planned to take place in late December, would lead to more efficiency in the way the banks operate in Iran while it would streamline the finances and help economies of scale for the banks.

Many bank branches are also planned to be sold off under the scheme helping create more resources for Bank Sepah in the future.

Hemmati described the merger as one of the most complicated and difficult projects in the history of Iran banking, adding that top echelons of the Iranian armed forces had contributed to efforts to speed up scheme.

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