AUSTRIAN OBERBANK’S DECISION ON COLLABORATION WITH TEHRAN




Mustafa AY – TDO – 24.09.2017 Oberbank, one of the biggest banks of Austria, signed a credit convention with Tehran administration on Thursday. Through this convention, that exports to Tehran will be boosted is foreseen. Oberbank officials described it with a briefing like that infrastructure, healthcare and construction sectors will be financed with the credit lent by Oberbank. Iran is currently striving for overcoming inadequacies of essential resources in abovementioned sectors. Iran considers that they will figure out sectorial deficit deriving from the insufficiencies through the credit and then, raise the exports.

Oberbank has been the first European bank cooperating with Iran since nuclear settlement in 2015. Franz Gasselsberger – Oberbank’s regional director in Upper Austria – stated that they executed intense commercial negotiations lasting for one and half years. The interesting part of his statement is that Austrian companies have exhibited eagerness to take part in Iran since the beginning of negotiations. We may regard this particular enthusiasm about Iran market as that they’ve already known how the convention would conclude. Let all the predictions aside, Central Bank of Iran made remarks pointing out that the 1.2 billion Euros credit will invigorate those sectors in trouble of monetary and material stuff and also 14 Iranian banks. This presumption of Iran’s Central Bank might be made in vain because the abovementioned sectors are making vast efforts to handle technological infrastructure. But, this doesn’t change the fact that the sectoral gaps in terms of technological infrastructure cannot be met. Even though Iran stated that the credit borrowed from Oberbank will be allocated to local private and state firms by Iranian government, Austrian companies will storm into Iranian market to compete against indigenous firms. However, Austrian companies whose qualifications of technological infrastructure, experience and knowledge are outstanding in comparison with Iranians, are going to probably acquire the tender bids in those sectors. Therefore, if Austrian firms take the tender bids, the credits borrowed from Oberbank may not invigorate indigenous firms as predicted by Iranian government. However, that all abovementioned scenarios unfold depends on if Iranian government gives a seat to Austrian firms in public tender.