Bloomberg Businessweek

Iran’s Giant Banking Mess

The country’s overextended and isolated financial system is on the edge of crisis

Ahmad, who runs an advertising agency in a busy commercial district of Tehran, has given up trying to get a business loan from any of the dozens of lenders just a short walk from his office.

Finding a bank in Iran is easy. The challenge is finding one that will lend at affordable rates, or even lend at all. The central bank’s rates for businesses are set as high as 18 percent. Ahmad, who employs about 20 people, says his bank told him that his company’s healthy accounts put him in a good position for a loan. But when he applied, he was refused and given excuses, says Ahmad, who asked not

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