The Soviet Union, with a hungry eye for new hard currency sources, is seeking closer ties with Western banks, including those in the United States.
Meanwhile, new trends are apparent within the Soviet banking system. For example, certain Soviet industries are being allowed to set up their own banks.West European bankers in Moscow say the changes are in line with the sweeping economic reforms generally known as perestroika.
A spokesman for the Soviet Bank for Foreign Economic Affairs said interesting opportunities for interbank cooperation have opened up in the new field of joint ventures.
More than 90 joint ventures have been registered with the Soviet Ministry of Finance, although many of them are not yet in operation.
Soviet financial reports note that some U.S. banks have much experience in the financial analysis of possible joint ventures, and also in arranging financing.
This expertise is very useful in formulating projects for joint enterprises, and the Bank for Foreign Economic Affairs will give careful consideration to any relevant proposals by the foreign banks, according to a report published in Economic Gazette.
The writer envisioned possible financing of economic cooperation projects in third countries with the participation of U.S. companies.
Moscow recently arranged for a loan of $2.1 billion from West Germany and likely will make additional requests for financial help in modernizing its industries. An official of Deutsche Bank said the credit line was for updating Soviet food and consumer goods industries.
The Soviets are known to have been busy of late on the international money markets. Recently the Soviet Union for the first time issued its own bonds on the Swiss market.
One Soviet banking expert has written of untapped opportunities for banking cooperation between the United States and the Soviet Union on international money markets.
The expert said it was regrettable that financial operations between U.S. banks and the Soviet Bank for Foreign Economic Affairs still leave lots of room for improvement.
The expert added that it was only recently that the Soviet Union emerged on the international money market. He said some very prominent international
financial firms, such as Morgan Stanley, Salomon Brothers Inc. and Shearson Lehman Hutton, have shown interest in cooperating with the Soviets.
More than 40 foreign banks maintain representative offices in Moscow. These include two U.S. banks, Chase Manhattan Bank and Bank of America.
A number of U.S. banks have agreements with the Soviet Union of one kind or another.