Stan­dard Char­tered Bank opens Er­bil branch

Stan­dard Char­tered an­nounced the in­au­gu­ra­tion of its branch in Er­bil, Kur­dis­tan Re­gion of Iraq, on March 3

The Kurdish Globe - - NEWS - CPI Fi­nan­cial

Nechir­van Barzani, the Prime Min­is­ter of the Kur­dis­tan Re­gional Govern­ment, of­fi­cially opened Stan­dard Char­tered’s Er­bil branch at a cer­e­mony held at the bank’s premises. Also present at the cer­e­mony was Rasheed Tahir, Deputy Min­is­ter of Fi­nance, and Ad­ham Der­wish Barzani, Di­rec­tor Gen­eral of the Kur­dis­tan Re­gion’s Cen­tral Bank. The bank will be open­ing one more branch in the coun­try, in Basra, later in 2014.

Stan­dard Char­tered launched its op­er­a­tions in Iraq in Novem­ber 2013 when it opened its Iraq head of­fice and first branch in Bagh­dad. The move makes Stan­dard Char­tered the only in­ter­na­tional bank to have fully-fledged on-the­ground whole­sale bank­ing op­er­a­tions in two of the main cities in Iraq.

The cer­e­mony was also at­tended by V Shankar, the Group Ex­ec­u­tive Di­rec­tor and Stan­dard Char­tered Bank’s Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Of­fi­cer for Europe, the Mid­dle East, Africa and the Amer­i­cas; Chris­tos Pa­padopou­los, the Re­gional CEO of MENAP and Stan­dard Char­tered Bank; Nafees Ak­bar­ali, MENAP’s re­gional Head of Fi­nan­cial Mar­kets, and a host of se­nior rep­re­sen­ta­tives from the Bank.

V Shankar said: “For Stan­dard Char­tered, the Mid­dle East has been part of our strate­gic foot­print for over 90 years. The es­tab­lish­ment of our Er­bil branch com­ple­ments the deep­en­ing of our pres­ence in Iraq, an in­creas­ingly im­por­tant econ­omy in the re­gion. With the sup­port of the govern­ment, our part­ners and clients, we look for­ward to play­ing a key role in the de­vel­op­ment of the econ­omy as a core bank to businesses look­ing to par­tic­i­pate in Iraq’s growth.”

Stan­dard Char­tered has been present in Iraq since 2006 through a rep­re­sen­ta­tive of­fice in Er­bil. On Novem­ber 27, 2013 the Bank of­fi­cially launched its on-the ground op­er­a­tions in Iraq.

Com­ment­ing on the launch of its Er­bil Branch, Gavin Wishart, Chief Ex­ec­u­tive of the Stan­dard Char­tered Bank in Iraq, said: “We have adopted a client-led strat­egy in Iraq and we need to have a pres­ence where our cus­tomers are con­cen­trated. Our move to­day is tes­ta­ment to our com­mit­ment to the Iraqi mar­ket. By open­ing our sec­ond branch in Iraq, we aim to bring best in­ter­na­tional prac­tice and un­prece­dented fi­nan­cial so­lu­tions to in­ter­na­tional com­pa­nies op­er­at­ing in Kur­dis­tan and Iraq in gen­eral. In ad­di­tion to ser­vic­ing our ex­ist­ing clients, we aim to sup- port large in­fra­struc­ture projects that are planned in the coun­try. We be­lieve our move will bring depth to the Iraqi fi­nan­cial mar­ket and will com­ple­ment our prod­uct ca­pa­bil­i­ties and ex­pand our foot­print in line with our group strat­egy.”

Ac­cord­ing to the lat­est eco­nomic re­search by Stan­dard Char­tered, Iraq’s real GDP is set to grow by 6 % dur­ing 2014 and 8.5 % in 2015.

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