BEIJING - Chinese state-run shipping giant COSCO Shipping Development Co said on Tuesday that it holds a 3.74% stake in Bank of Kunlun, which has acted as a key official channel for money flows between China and Iran.
The statement was made by the shipping firm on the e-interview platform of the Shanghai Stock Exchange, in response to an investor question on whether it held a stake in the bank.
COSCO did not elaborate on when it acquired its holding, which was not announced previously by either side nor publicly disclosed on the national business registration website.
COSCO's comments come days after China and Iran, both subject to U.S. sanctions, signed a 25-year cooperation agreement on March 27 to strengthen their long-standing economic and political alliance.
Bank of Kunlun, located in a remote oil town in northwest China, is majority-owned by the listed financial arm of state oil giant China National Petroleum, CNPC Capital.
The bank was included on the sanctions list reimposed by the United States in 2018 on concerns over Iran's ballistic missile program and its support for Syria's embattled leader Bashar al-Assad and rebel fighters in Yemen.
In 2018, the lender stopped handling payments from Iran and most of its Iran-related financial services, Reuters has reported .
(Reporting by Cheng Leng and Tony Munroe; Editing by Shri Navaratnam) ((firstname.lastname@example.org; +8610-5669-2129;))