StanChart opens second branch in Iraq
Erbil, March 4, 2014
Standard Chartered has inaugurated its branch in Erbil, Kurdistan Region, marking its second branch in Iraq after launching operations in the country in November 2013 with a head office and branch in Baghdad.
Nechirvan Idris Barzani, Prime Minister of Kurdistan Regional Government of Iraqi Kurdistan inaugurated the branch in Erbil. The bank will be opening one more branch in the country; in Basra later in 2014.
The move makes Standard Chartered the only international bank to have full-fledged on-the-ground wholesale banking operations in two of the main cities in Iraq.
Standard Chartered’s main aim is to meet the increasing banking needs of its international clients who are increasingly active in Iraq, notably in the power, oil, telecoms and infrastructure sectors and aims to support large government projects.
V Shankar, Group executive director and chief executive officer, Europe, Middle East, Africa and Americas, Standard Chartered, 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.
Gavin Wishart, chief executive, Standard Chartered Bank in Iraq said: “We adopt a client-led strategy in Iraq and we need to have 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 support 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,” he added.
According to the latest economic research by Standard Chartered, the Iraq economy’s real GDP will grow by 6 per cent during 2014 and 8.5 per cent in 2015.
In the Middle East, Standard Chartered has been operating for more than 92 years. The Bank has more than 3500 employees from 79 nationalities. – TradeArabia News Service