85965 11/16/2006 17:07 06ANKARA6435 Embassy Ankara CONFIDENTIAL 06STATE173328 VZCZCXRO1251 RR RUEHDE DE RUEHAK #6435 3201707 ZNY CCCCC ZZH R 161707Z NOV 06 FM AMEMBASSY ANKARA TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 9969 INFO RUEHAD/AMEMBASSY ABU DHABI 0326 RUEHDO/AMEMBASSY DOHA 0228 RUEHMK/AMEMBASSY MANAMA 0202 RUEHKB/AMEMBASSY BAKU 1425 RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 0316 RUEHSW/AMEMBASSY BERN 0337 RUEHBS/AMEMBASSY BRUSSELS 5570 RUEHBM/AMEMBASSY BUCHAREST 0928 RUEHKL/AMEMBASSY KUALA LUMPUR 0088 RUEHKU/AMEMBASSY KUWAIT 0863 RUEHLI/AMEMBASSY LISBON 0223 RUEHLE/AMEMBASSY LUXEMBOURG 0052 RUEHMD/AMEMBASSY MADRID 0424 RUEHME/AMEMBASSY MEXICO 0072 RUEHMO/AMEMBASSY MOSCOW 5498 RUEHMS/AMEMBASSY MUSCAT 0075 RUEHNE/AMEMBASSY NEW DELHI 0436 RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 5322 RUEHRH/AMEMBASSY RIYADH 0621 RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME 6600 RUEHGP/AMEMBASSY SINGAPORE 0078 RUEHTV/AMEMBASSY TEL AVIV 0096 RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO 0953 RUEHFT/AMCONSUL FRANKFURT 3875 RUEHHK/AMCONSUL HONG KONG 0070 RUEHIT/AMCONSUL ISTANBUL 1637 RUEHDE/AMCONSUL DUBAI 0193 C O N F I D E N T I A L ANKARA 006435
E.O. 12958: DECL: 11/15/2016 TAGS: PINR, EFIN, IR, TU SUBJECT: TURKEY: IRANIAN FINANCIAL FLOWS AND NETWORKS (C-NE6-00566)
REF: STATE 173328
Classified By: Economic Counselor Thomas Goldberger. Reasons 1.5 b and d.
1. (C) There is a very small Iranian bank presence in Turkey. Bank Mellat Turkey has a main branch in Istanbul and two small branches in Ankara with a total of 50 employees according to reports published by the Banks Association of Turkey. The bank's website (www.mellatbank.com) reports that it is 100% owned by Bank Mellat Iran and has been operating in Turkey since 1981. The bank takes deposits, extends credit, and provides trade-related banking services, especially related to Iranian-Turkish projects and trade. According to the Banks Association, Bank Mellat Turkey's total assets were $145 million, only $15 million of which were in Turkish currency, at the end of 2005. This compares to total assets of the banking system as a whole of $295 billion. Deposits were $25 million, all of which were in foreign currency.
2. (C) As an indication of the insignificance of Iranian banking presence, when we raise the subject with the head of the Bank Regulatory and Supervisory Agency (BRSA) Tefik Bilgin, Bilgin was only vaguely aware of the existence of Bank Mellat and confused Habib Bank, a Pakistani bank, to be an Iranian bank. Bilgin said he was aware of no issues related to Iranian banks in Turkey. Two government owned Turkish banks, Ziraat Bank and Halk Bank (which is being privatized), maintain representative offices in Teheran.
Visit Ankara's Classified Web Site at http://www.state.sgov.gov/p/eur/ankara/