Date of Publication 22/01/2012 12:00 AM
Director of the Bank of the Middle East:
Iraq on the eve of a real revolution in the fields of investment and development backed by large numbers of financial returns resulting from high rates of production of oil and gas, banking sector is invited to play a leading role in this revolution. Commissioner to speak to the Director of the Bank of the Middle East Iraqi investment sentenced George Behnam, which calls for a required amendments to the Banking Law in preparation for this phase. «Weekly» Interview.
■ Date of establishment of the Iraqi Middle East Bank to invest up to the year 1993, a period long periods compared to the establishment of other private Iraqi banks, what is the image that is characterized currently in terms of performance and the place it occupied in the sector?
- Occurred in significant developments in the course of the bank since its inception in 1993, was the most important rise in capital of 400 million Iraqi dinars, driven by his 25 percent or 100 million dinars at the time, to 100 billion dinars, now, and to 150 billion dinars (about $ 128 million) is expected to inform him of in the month of June next. As the reading of the annual budgets of the bank showing outstanding performance in most areas of banking activity, the most prominent high volume of credit and loans to some 142 billion dinars, and that the bank has become one of the banks of excellence in its financial position so that currently more than 580 billion dinars. In addition Bank has set an ambitious plan to be present in all governorates of Iraq via its branches from the current 20 branches, with emphasis on the need to adhere more credit hedges by cutting off part of the profits hedges to offset the bad credit. I believe that strengthening bank reserves and the strength of its capital are among important part of the citizen’s confidence in the performance of the bank.
■ What are the features of the bank’s ambitious plan to spread throughout the provinces?
- Implement the Bank of the Middle East Iraqi investment ambitious plan covers through which provinces the diversity of product offerings, which depends in its external activation of its relations with twenty banks and financial institutions spread over Lebanon, Jordan and United Arab Emirates, Germany, England and Turkey in the opening credits and the issuance of letters of guarantee and foreign remittances, as The performance of the sober to the bank to make it win first place in the classification of the Iraqi Central Bank to private banks according to the system (Camille / CAMEL) as obtained a Calendar senior who has not shared by any of the other banks, thanks to inter data emerged from the march of the bank and approved by the evaluation, most notably the high center Financial rate of 4.1 percent and increased cash balance credit of up to a record 142.6 billion dinars great after it was 63.8 billion dinars.
■ expected to reach the bank’s capital in the month of June next 150 billion dinars. What does this mean for the number to your ambitions?
- The bank is looking to achieve a qualitative leap in its activities to reach the capital worth 150 billion dinars (about $ 128 million) in response to the request of the Iraqi Central Bank of the heads of private banks to access their funds to promote good levels of strength and remedy the risk of crisis. I think that the role of CBI in this regard is particularly important in order to link its actions to the advancement of this banking sector and support its activities in ways that enhance opportunities for participation in the development and investment operations. It was also considered to support the central Iraqi private banks in general safety valve, so that it helps them face the many challenges faced by the sector is currently under the conditions exceptional throughout Iraq, with emphasis on transparency and disclosure early, governance and control is one of the features necessary for the banks of successful performance in a.
■ What are the priorities adopted by the banking sector is currently in the implementation of programs?
- I find that the priorities of the sector must be geared towards investment in the sectors of development and investment, in addition to expanding the base of his traditional banking and diversification of vocabulary, and this requires amendments to the Banking Act, in particular paragraph 28 thereof to allow the sector to invest in productive projects, namely industrial and agricultural projects and services, as well as the amendment of the Investment Law No. 13, allowing foreign investors to participate in further investment. It was on this occasion to the plan is to promote the bank’s hedging strategy in the field of credit measures have contributed greatly to increase the bank’s ability to meet the requirements of the local market and credit applications, and contribute to the financing of investment projects. I think we live in a changing world and we benefit from the data of this change.
■ And what about the proper use of funds to the bank and protect it from any form of financial and administrative corruption?
- That this matter we are keen on him, and proud of the priorities of work of the bank as the fall as part of plans that are consistent with the standards established by the decisions of the Basel 2-3, taking care to keep up with plans for state investment that requires proper use of funds with and maintenance of financial and administrative corruption and make them contribute to in moving the productive base that directly affect the banking sector, in terms of development and enhance its role in financing and lending and stimulate the credit according to the contexts studied.
■ What is the image of private banks now if we take into account its quest to achieve its goals?
- In the banking arena Iraq at the present time about 50 banks including 7 government acquires more than 80 percent of the banking business, The 32 private banks as there are about 10 branches of Arab and foreign banks. I think this number is greater compared to all the neighboring countries, and pointed out in this area to the Iraqi Central Bank’s efforts in working to increase the capital of private banks, according to the schedule ends in 06.30.2013 by reaching to 250 billion dinars at a minimum, about (214 million), and possibly the central bank aims to merge the banks with limited access to capital required … But its current calls for the central bank to increase the follow up the work of these banks so that the objective of establishing a bank is to attract national savings through a successful marketing plan includes deployment to open at least 10 branches in the first year for each bank, and this did not happen, so that There are many banks, the number of branches between 2-6 branches, although more than five years to establish some of them. In examining the development of private banks, we find that ten of which are large compared to the other in terms of its financial position, and has four banks, now the advantage that the volume of deposits equivalent to 4-5 times their capital, and this evidence of the confidence of clients, which is consistent with the purpose of establishing the bank Is the investment of deposits has in funding for the purposes of trade and investment in productive sectors for economic development.
■ What are your observations on the subject of a resolution raising the ceiling of bank credits granted to private banks?
- The decision to raise the ceiling for bank credits to private banks, designed to achieve several goals to revitalize the banking sector and support the private in the light of the observed decline of participation in the financing of development projects, so as not to exceed 3 percent now, according to estimates of experts. Another objective of the efforts and the revitalization of sectors of development and investment requiring banks solid able to secure the financing of projects in these sectors and proposed in this area to adopt the standards of the Iraqi Central Bank in terms of accuracy, transparency and quality of performance, in the coverage of banks, the subject of raising the ceiling of bank credits than two million to $ 4 million. It was also noted the need to address the implications for asylum to governmental institutions not to accept payments through the financial instruments issued by private banks, as well as put an end to the prevention of such government institutions from accepting letters of guarantee issued by the Bank is a government.