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Standard Chartered has its Iraq deadline extended

Standard Chartered has its Iraq deadline extended

(22 November 2004 – Asia) Iraq’s central bank has given Standard Chartered a three month extension to its deadline for starting to operate in the war torn country. Last May, Standard Chartered withdrew its two staff members from Iraq, saying it was too dangerous for the staff to remain there.

Iraq’s central bank said the bank had to begin operating by the start of this year or it would have its banking permit withdrawn.

But the bank of Iraq has pushed the deadline back to March 31, 2005. A Standard Chartered spokesman said the safety of its staff was the priority and that the bank would continue to monitor the situation.

Standard Chartered, HSBC and National Bank of Kuwait were the three banks given permission to establish operations in Iraq. The banks had to pledge minimum capital of US$25 million.

Standard Chartered was also the first international bank to gain a banking license in Iran. It also opened a branch in Afghanistan following the toppling of the Taliban.

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