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Sudanese Banks ready to open foreign branches on lifting of US sanctions

Sudanese banks have opened branches in Arab, Asian and European countries to allow the easy movement of hard currency and to re-establish banking relations in anticipation of a positive decision by the United States to permanently lift economic sanctions next month, Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper has reported.

The Undersecretary of the Sudanese Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning, Dr Abdel Rahman Dhara, confirmed agreements had been reached to restore links with international banks, especially in the UAE, Germany, and Belarus. He said the Sudanese government had signed bilateral agreements for financial exchange with those countries and added that for investment to flourish it was essential workable financial exchange systems were in place.

The State Minister also confirmed that the United Arab Bank has approved Sudan's Bank of Khartoum's final license to practice banking and open branches in the UAE after the Bank's fulfillment of the basic regulatory and commercial requirements.

Asharq Al Awsat reported that the Bank of Khartoum is about to open a branch in Dubai as part of the Sudanese strategy to consolidate trade relations with the UAE; one of the world's most important trading centers.

In July, the Bank of Khartoum which already has a branch in Bahrain for hard currency transfers received a long-term AA rating and a short-term rating with a stable outlook from the International Islamic Rating Agency.

The Undersecretary also confirmed that an exclusive brokerage group of US companies in Sudan and the Middle East had given approval for hard currency transfers to be facilitated through Sudan's Agricultural Bank, "Three banks have agreed to receive and send direct transfers to Sudan to pay all goods and business transactions," said Dr Mohammed Babiker, chairman of the US engineering firm WEIRA.

Babiker pointed out that the approval by US banks of hard currency transfers, especially in dollars will largely result in a revitalisation of the trade between Sudan and the US as well as make it possible for American investment in Sudan, particularly in fields of agriculture and mining.

The US extended the economic embargo on Sudan until 12 October, after it partially lifted it for six months in January. During the six-month period, Sudan was able to open and re-establish its banking relations with a large number of banks and achieve significant breakthroughs in Sudan's relations in the global financial and investment sector.

AfricaAsia & AmericasMiddle EastNewsSudanUAEUS
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