World  Business and Economic Analysis 

Iran,

  • Netherlands trade delegation meet Kerman businessmen

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    A meeting was held between Kerman businessmen and members of Rauh Welt Begriff Company (RWB) from the Netherlands .



    Chairman of Kerman Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mine and Agriculture said after expounding on potentials of the province, companies active in the field of water expressed interest to cooperate with Kerman's companies.

    Masoud Rashidi Nejad expressed hope that RWB's presence in Iran could provide the grounds for Dutch and Kerman companies to cooperate in water field and in solving the related problems.

    The C.E.O of RWB Andre Regers said that the company is active in the area of drinking and process water preparation, waste water purification and reuse, water sustainability, water evaporation and financing related projects.

    On his interest in developing cooperation with Iranian companies in the fields of project management and service projects, he added that experienced staff in the field of water work in RWB.

    He also said RWB had cooperation with many European companies which have signed MoUs with Iranian firms.

  • NIOC, Total to sign confidentiality agreement on oil project: Zanganeh

     

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     The National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) and France’s oil giant Total will ink a confidentiality agreement on development of Iran’s South Azadegan oilfield in the coming days, the Mehr news agency quoted Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh as saying on Monday.



    The deal is coming after Total agreed to buy 160,000 barrels per day (bpd) of Iranian crude for delivery in Europe.



    South Azadegan is one of the five oilfields, dubbed the West Karoun oilfields, Iran shares with Iraq at the western part of Iran’s southwestern region of Karoun.  



    Iran discovered Azadegan oil field in 1999 in what was the country’s biggest oil find in decades. The country accordingly teamed up with Inpex to push the project toward development.  However, the Japanese company quit the project in what appeared to be a result of the U.S. sanctions against Iran, according to Press TV.



    NIOC later divided the project into South Azadegan and North Azadegan and both were awarded to China’s CNPC.  



    In 2014, Iran sidelined CNPC from South Azadegan due to its protracted delays in developing the field.



    South Azadegan is believed to hold an in-place oil reserve of about 33.2 billion barrels and its recoverable resources estimated at about 5.2 billion barrels.



    Development of joint oil and gas fields is a priority of the Iranian government.  

  • NIOC, Total to sign confidentiality agreement on oil project: Zanganeh

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    The National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) and France’s oil giant Total will ink a confidentiality agreement on development of Iran’s South Azadegan oilfield in the coming days, the Mehr news agency quoted Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh as saying on Monday.



    The deal is coming after Total agreed to buy 160,000 barrels per day (bpd) of Iranian crude for delivery in Europe.



    South Azadegan is one of the five oilfields, dubbed the West Karoun oilfields, Iran shares with Iraq at the western part of Iran’s southwestern region of Karoun.  



    Iran discovered Azadegan oil field in 1999 in what was the country’s biggest oil find in decades. The country accordingly teamed up with Inpex to push the project toward development.  However, the Japanese company quit the project in what appeared to be a result of the U.S. sanctions against Iran, according to Press TV.



    NIOC later divided the project into South Azadegan and North Azadegan and both were awarded to China’s CNPC.  



    In 2014, Iran sidelined CNPC from South Azadegan due to its protracted delays in developing the field.



    South Azadegan is believed to hold an in-place oil reserve of about 33.2 billion barrels and its recoverable resources estimated at about 5.2 billion barrels.



    Development of joint oil and gas fields is a priority of the Iranian government.  

  • Oil, gas, petrochemical projects to be offered to int'l investors in weeks

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    A senior Oil Ministry official said Iran is going to offer projects in gas, oil and petrochemical sectors to international investors in weeks.


    Oil Ministry Deputy for International and Commerce Affairs Amir Hossein Zamaninia told IRNA on Monday that in the next few weeks Iran will offer a number of projects to world companies in form of various contracts.

    He said the contracts will be offered in such frameworks as buybacks, IPC, engineering and procurement and construction and finance (EPCF).

    The official noted that foreign companies have many reasons for their interest in Iranian oil and gas projects and are looking forwards to receiving information on Iran’s projects for investment.

    He also predicted that oil prices will be balanced by 2017.

    Zamaninia said Iran enjoys a highly educated workforce which allures foreign companies, stressing that the country also has a solid political and security situation in the region.

    He also noted that many foreign companies have prior experiences of cooperating with Iran and are familiar with its situation.

    Referring to high interest of a number of Asian and European companies in joint investments with Iran on LNG projects, the oil ministry official went on to say that Iran has already had dialogue with many international companies active in the area.

    He said projects worth 20 billion dollars are ready for implementation in enhancing natural gas production in five years which are hopefully to be utilized in cooperation with foreign investors.

    Upon the implementation of the projects which upgrade Iran’s level of natural gas production to one billion cubic meters a day, the official said, the country will be able to join the world gas market in two or three years.

    Zamaninia stressed that neighboring countries and then Europe top the list of Iran’s priorities in gas supplying.

  • POSCO to construct $1.6b steel mill in Iran

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    Iran and the Republic of Korea on Monday signed three agreements in the form of one memorandum of understanding (MOU) and two memorandums of agreement (MOA) during Iran-Korea Business Forum in Tehran.

    Worth about $1.6 billion, one of the MOAs was inked between Korean steel maker POSCO and Iranian steelmaker Pars Kohan Diar Parsian Steel (PKP), to jointly build a steel mill in Iran's Chabahar Free Trade-Industrial Zone.

    The steel mill will be built based on POSCO’s FINEX technology, touted to be more environmentally-friendly and cost-efficient compared to other steelmaking methods.

    Moreover, during the event, POSCO Energy, a POSCO's electricity-generating affiliate, signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with PKP to build a 500 megawatt power plant fed by excess gas generated by the envisioned steel mill, said the Korea Times.

    Also, in cooperation with Korea Electric Power Corp. (KEPCO), POSCO Energy will construct a desalination facility in the same area with a desalination capacity of 60,000 tons of seawater per day.

    Another MOA was inked between the Korean Doosan Heavy Industry and Construction and the Iranian Negin Mokran Development Company (NMDC).

    South Korean steel makers controlled more than half the Iranian market before the Western sanctions were imposed, according to POSCO’s research center, Reuters reported.

    Participating in the seminar were Joo Hyung Hwan, Korean minister of trade, industry and energy; Kim Seung-ho, the South Korean ambassador to Tehran; Mohsen Jalalpour, president of Iran Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines, and Agriculture; Valiollah Afkhami, head of Trade Promotion Organization of Iran; and Junggwan KIM, vice president of Korea International Trade Association.

    The forum was organized by Korea International Trade Association (KITA) and Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA), wherein 500 participants from 300 companies were present.

  • Regulations on Exports, Imports and Customs in Iran Free Trade-Industrial Zones

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    Article 1

    In these Regulations, the following terms are used in lieu of the respective phrases:

    Zone: Each one of the Free Trade – Industrial Zones as established by Law
    The Law: The Law on Administration of Free Trade – Industrial Zones of the Islamic Republic of Iran, enacted in 1372, and other laws to be enacted in this respect in the future.
    Customs Territory: The state of the Islamic Republic of Iran, its territorial waters and air space where the customs and export and import laws of the country are fully enforced.
    High Council: The High Council of Free Trade–Industrial Zones of the Islamic Republic of Iran.
    Authority: The Organization of each Free Trade–Industrial Zone.
    Port and Airport Charges: The amount which an Authority collects from owners of goods and or air freight forwarders for the provision of port and airport facilities for the purpose of maritime and air transport and aircraft traffic.
    Service charges: The amounts which the Authority of each Zone collect for rendering warehousing, unloading transportation, loading, stacking, storage operations, extraordinary testing and tariff classification, issuance of the certificate of origin and other services rendered at the time of provisional exportation or importation, transit, transshipment and returning the goods abroad.
    Value Added: The difference between the price of the goods and the value of the material used in their production.
    Value: With respect to the goods imported to Free Zones, it is the CIF price of the goods.
    Regulation on Exports, Imports and Customs Affairs of the Free Zones: Regulations enforced within the framework of the Law on Administration of Free Zones by an Authority, upon approval by High Council.
    Authority Customs: A division of the organization of the Zone Authority: which is responsible for enforcement of Export – Import Regulation in each Zone.
    Customs Office Stationed in a Zone: A division of the organization of the Iranian Customs which is responsible for enforcement of the export–import regulation.


    Chapter Two: Authorized Customs Activities and Operations in a Zone and Regulations thereof

    A. Import of goods into Free Trade–Industrial Zones

     

    Article 2

    Import of any kind of goods to each of the Zones is permitted with the exception of the goods which are prohibited in accordance to Islamic laws or the laws of the country in which the Zones names are stipulated or are unauthorized in accordance with special regulations of a Zone.


    Note

    Import of goods originally produced in Israel is prohibited.


    Article 3

    The Authority is required to communicate with the Ministry of Commerce and Iranian Customs monthly statistics of all the goods imported into the Zone for keeping customs statistics and records.


    Article 4

    The procedure for the importation of goods into a Zone, entailing minimum formalities shall be drawn up by the Authority of a Zone, but in all cases observance of the rules and regulations pertaining to hygiene, security, culture and standards, in accordance with the prevailing norms in the Zone, shall be mandatory.


    Note

    Human hygiene standards shall be set by the Authority in coordination with the Ministry of Health, Treatment and Medical Education.


    Article 5

    Importation of goods into a Zone is authorized in the following manner and shall be overhand by these Regulations:


    1. Goods such as construction materials, tools and construction implements for building, manufacturing, commercial services, housing and infrastructure purposes (excluding decorative items and furniture) that enter a Zone from abroad or other parts of the country are, at the discretion of the Zone Authority and in quantities needed, exempt from payment of port and airport charges but are subject to service charges.


    2. Machinery, raw materials, components, and parts required for production, productive equipment and implements, spare parts for producing machinery for capital transportation vehicles (excluding passenger cars and leisure boats) are exempt from payment of port and import charges but are subject to service charges.

     

    3. Goods that enter a Zone from abroad or from other Free Zones (excluding goods specified in paragraph (1) and (2) of this Article and are conclusively cleared from customs shall be subject to the payment of port and airport charges, in the event that the said goods are re-exported, the port and airport charges shall be reimbursed.

     

    4. Entry of goods for safekeeping in bonded warehouses for a specified period is authorized. The transfer of such goods to the said warehouses is subject to internal transit formalities of the Zone concerned and the use and transport of goods from the said warehouse without the knowledge and authorization of procedures of the Authority shall be considered a violation of the Regulations.

     

    5. Excepting the cases where the Authority of a Zone may decide other arrangements, temporary importation of goods from abroad, other Free Zones of the country or from the customs territory, for display at fairs and exhibitions, re-export, re-packaging, separating, grading and sorting, clearing, mixing and similar purposes is within the authority of each Zone. The use or sale of such goods in the Zone which is imported from abroad, shall be subject to port and airport charges, based on the value of the goods at the value date of their entry into the Zones, and the customs formalities are finalized.

     

    Note

    The goods that enter a Zone from abroad or form other Free Zones or from other parts of the country for the purpose of finishing or repair are authorized imports of a temporary nature and in accordance with the rules of the Zone and upon payment of service charges but are exempt from port and airport charges the time limit for keeping such goods in a zone on a temporary basis shall be a maximum of two years.


    6. The entry and unloading of goods in Zone ports as designated by the Authority for the purpose of transshipment and external transit are permitted, subject to the payment of service charges and the completion of required formalities.

    7. All the goods transported from abroad destined for the Free Zones or from Free Zones destined for abroad passing through the mainland are subject to the regulations and procedures of foreign transit subject of Article (7) of the Regulations on Customs Affairs Law which shall be implemented with utmost simplicity and minimum formalities.


    Note

    External transit of legally prohibited goods requires the authorization of the High Council of Free Zones.

     

    B. Exportation and Exit of Goods from the Free Trade– Industrial Zones of the Islamic Republic of Iran

     

    Article 6

    Upon observance of respective Regulations, the Authority is authorized to issue certificates of origin for goods which leave the Zone. The respective official authorities within the Iranian territory are obliged to accept such certificate of origin.


    Article 7

    The exportation of goods from the Free Zones are subject to the guidelines determined by the Authority within the framework of these Regulations which shall be implemented with utmost simplicity and minimum formalities.


    Note

    The manifest of vehicles leaving a Zone for the destination of foreign countries, other Free Zones and or other parts of the Country is valid, upon confirmation by the Authority.


    Article 8

    The Authority is required to report to the Ministry of Commerce and Iranian Customs monthly statistical recordings.


    Article 9

    The exportation or exit of goods from a Zone is authorized in accordance with regulations and in the following manner:

    1.The exportation of goods manufactured in the Zone to foreign countries or other Free Zones of the country, regardless of whether the raw materials used in their production are originated from inside the country, foreign countries or other Free Trade Zones of the country, is authorized but requires submission of an export declaration for statistical records keeping.

    2. The importation of goods manufactured in the Zone into other parts of the country is exempt from customs duties and commercial benefit tax to the extent of their value added plus the value of the raw materials used therein, customs duties and commercial benefit tax shall be levied only on imported raw materials and parts used in such goods.

    3. The importation of foreign good (including consumer goods, raw materials, machinery and other goods) which are shipped intact from a Zone to other parts of the country is permitted, but their clearance from customs is subject to observance of the general Export – Import Regulations and customs regulations of the country.

    4. The exportation of domestic goods, if intact, from a Zone to foreign countries is subject to compliance with the general Export – Import Regulations of the country.

    5. The temporary entry of goods to a Zone from other parts of the country for the purpose of repairs or finishing which are returned to the country after finishing or repairs, is authorized and is subject to the procedures set forth in the Customs Law, They are exempt from customs duties and commercial benefit tax with respect to the amount of the wages paid for such repairs and finishing, but replaced or added parts and components and prices of foreign origin shall be subject to customs duties and commercial benefit tax on the basis of the general Export–Import Regulations of the country;

    6. Returning back of the very goods imported to the Zone from abroad ,or returning back of the goods imported from other parts of the country into the Zone is permissible in accordnce with the permit of the ZoneAuthority.

    7. The temporary exit of goods from a Zone to a foreign destination or other parts of the country (excluding the goods that have entered into a Zone from other parts of the country) is permitted upon obtaining prior authorization from the Authority, such goods are exempt from port and airport charges when returned to the Zone.


    Article 10

    The exportation or exit of goods from the premises of a Zone in any one of the manners mentioned in paragraphs of Article (9) is subject to the payment of service charges to a Zone, if services and facilities of the respective Zone are utilized.


    C. Regulations on Goods Accompanying Passengers

    Article 11

    Travelers, whether Iranian or foreigners, who directly enter a Zone through authorized airports or ports are allowed to bring along into a Zone goods (excluding the goods prohibited by religion or law) to the extent that they are not of commercial nature and clear them without payment of airport changes.


    Note

    Natural or legal persons intending to reside in a Zone for more than one year and whose residence is approved by the Authority are allowed to import into a Zone only once their household appliances and office equipment in reasonable quantities without payment of port and airport charges.


    Article 12

    Travelers who depart directly to a foreign destination from a Zone are allowed to take along all goods (excluding the goods prohibited by religion or law) without obtaining authorization, provided that the goods are not a of commercial nature.


    Note

    Exit of antiques, handwritten books, original cultural objects and various coins is not permitted.


    Article 13

    Goods accompanying travelers who intend to leave a Zone for other parts of the country shall be subject to the general Export- Import Regulations of the country.


    D. Regulations on Violations


    Article 14

    The Authority is required to refrain from clearance from customs the goods whose importation is prohibited or can not be cleared from customs in accordance with the Zone‘s regulations, excluding the religiously or legally prohibited goods, in which the names of the Free Zones are stipulated if such goods are declared with full name and complete particulars and specifications for the purpose of final importation, and the free Zones must notify in writing the owner of the goods or his representative that he must send the goods out of the Zone within a maximum period of time determined by the Authority. Goods prohibited by religion or law shall, in which the names of the Free Zones are stipulated, be governed by relevant regulations.


    E. Miscellaneous Regulations

    Article 15

    Wherever it turns out after customs clearance of goods, that the funds whose collection a duty of the Authority were received in excess of or less than the required amount, the Authority and the owner of the goods can claim and receive, as the case may be, the respective differential within four months from the date of signing the clearance document of the goods concerned.


    Article 16

    Air and maritime freight forwarding agencies and owners or users of transport vehicles are required to submit, at the time of the entry of the transport vehicles into the authorized airport, port and or land terminals, to the Authority one photocopy or copy of the bill of lading relating to each item of the goods attached to the list of the whole cargo.


    Article 17

    Control of and supervision over the importation and exportation of goods from the Free Zone to other parts of the country shall be the function of Customs Office of the Islamic Republic of Iran. The head of customs office stationed in a Zone shall be appointed by the Director of the Customs Office, upon the proposal by the Authority.


    Note

    The control of and supervision over the importation and exportation of goods from the Free Zone to other countries shall be the function of the Authority Customs Office, in accordance with these regulations and the relevant legal guidelines.

  • RINA Services classifies first ships in Iran

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    Andrea Di Bella, area manager, Middle East, RINA Services.

    RINA Services and the Asian Classification Society (ACS) recently classified two 15,000 gt general cargo ships owned by IRISL, the leading shipping company in Iran. This is a first for RINA, the primary Italian classification society.

    The dual classification is the result of a partnership signed by RINA with Tehran-based ACS shortly after sanctions in Iran were lifted. RINA Services’ investment in marine classification in this area reflects Italy’s strong commitment to forging relationships with countries in the Middle East and now Iran in particular.

    “All classification societies are trying to enter the Iranian market. Our recent partnership with the ACS was a strategic move that has proved successful in expanding our local reach and classification expertise in the area,” said Andrea Di Bella, area manager, Middle East, RINA Services. The partnership with ACS aims to support testing, inspection, classification and certification services in Iran across four areas of its business: marine, energy, infrastructure and transport and business assurance.

    In January this year RINA opened an office in Teheran, through which the group will deliver its services to these sectors. Over the next year RINA says it plans to further strengthen its presence in Iran and the Middle East, as it expands into new markets.

  • Sanctions on Bank Melli in Hong Kong lifted

     

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    Banking Sanctions on BMI Hong Kong Branch have been lifted since June 24 and the branch will soon resume its activities there.


    Hong Kong Monetary Authority lifted restrictions on BMI in Honk Kong, Gholam Reza Panahi made the announcement here Tuesday.

    Resumption of BMI Hong Kong Branch's activities needs systematic changes that are being made, said the official.

    Since 2008, the European Union (EU) imposed sanctions on different foreign branches of BMI on the pretext of Iran's peaceful nuclear program.

    Under the July agreement known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), anti-Iran sanctions were lifted on January 16, 2016.

  • Tender soon to be held for drilling 20 more wells in South Azadegan field

     

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    Operator of the project for development of South Azaegan oil field Mahmoud Marashi says National Iranian Drilling Company (NIDC) has won the tender for drilling 20 oil wells in South Azadegan field.


    Marashi said tender will soon be held for drilling of 20 more wells in South Azadegan oil field.
    He said eight companies have run the bid for drilling 20 wells in South Azadegan. 'After financial and technical assessments, the NIODC named the winner of the tender.'
    The official said the NIDC should drill the 20 wells in two years. Six drilling rigs will be employed for the purpose based on the schedule, he added.
    Meanwhile, Managing Director of the NIDC, Mohammad-Reza Takaydi said his company is busy completing 40 wells in South Azadegan and the project is predicted to be complete by November 21.
    He added that drilling of 20 more wells will then begin in the area.

  • Welcoming Foreign Banks to Iran

     

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    Conditions are right for establishment of international  bank branches and correspondent offices in Iran, governor of the Central Bank of Iran Valiollah Seif.


    “Foreign banks are welcome to establish branches and correspondent offices in the country,” Seif said, adding that according to the regulations foreigners can own up to 40% of banks’ shares in the mainland.
    “Iranian banks had been excluded from the global network in the past few years and improving banking standards is a time-consuming process,” ISNA quoted him as saying during a meeting with Iranian ambassadors and diplomats.  
    Seif said the CBI is investing considerable time and effort in reviving relations with foreign banks in the post-sanctions era, adding that “banks are starting cooperation with Iran in fits and starts.”
    The United States and Europe lifted sanctions in January under a deal with Iran to limit its nuclear program, but other US sanctions remain, including a ban on all Iran-linked transactions in dollars processed through the US financial system.
    European banks, some of which were punished in the past for breaking the US sanctions imposed on Iran, remain skeptical in restoring trade ties and have largely held back despite the lifting of some restrictions in January.
    US Secretary of State John Kerry met Thursday with major European bankers to clarify rules for doing business with Iran. But the bankers said after the meeting that they assurances given by the senior US diplomat are vague and that they were not convinced by his statements on the easing of sanctions.

  • What are the dos and don’ts in Iran?


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    The Dos

    Throw away any preconceptions you might have of Iran and enter the country with an open mind.

    Do say salaam (hello) when you enter shops.

    Do say merci (thank you) when you receive help.

    Tipping is a big part of the Iranian culture. For instance, when you receive any sort of assistance from someone from the luggage cart handler at the airport to a cab driver in the city, you should tip them.

    Do try seasonal snacks sold on the side of streets.

     Do try and learn a few Persian expressions and use them when you interact with people.

    Do make friends! It will let you experience the Persian culture in a much better way.

     

    The Don’ts

    Don’t be afraid to ask Iranians for help they will always help you in the best way they can.

    Don’t use the expressions "the Gulf" or "the Arabian Gulf". It is the Persian Gulf.

    Don’t give the thumbs up it is considered offensive in Iran. Although if someone gives you the thumbs up with a smile, it means they acknowledge your culture.

    Don’t try to shake hands with Iranian women if you are a man.

    Don’t try to shake hands with Iranian men if you are a woman.

    Don’t be uncomfortable when you are treated to a meal by Iranians. Hospitality is part of the Persian culture and it is NOT an imposition.

    Don’t engage in public displays of affection.

    Don’t ask for Sheesha, which means crystal meth in Iran, when ordering a water pipe. Ask for a Qalyoun instead!

    Don’t drive if you do not have an international driver’s license.

    Don’t snap photos of sites where you see a ‘No Photography Allowed’ sign.

    Don’t blow your nose in company it is considered impolite.

    Don’t bring alcohol or drugs with you.

    Don't bring satellite phones with you.

  • Zarif, Mogherini review ways to defuse Syrian crisis

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    Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and the visiting European Union (EU) foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini held talks on ways of tackling Syrian crisis.


    During the talks, Zarif welcomed the positive role the European Union plays in overcoming Syrian crisis and expressed Iran's readiness to have closer cooperation with the body.


    After Tehran, Mogherini will fly to Riyadh to talk with the Saudi officials.

  • ‘Smart money’ moving towards Iranian capital market: CEO

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    To reach an average 8 percent economic growth during the next five-year period, according to decree of the Leader of Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei, and following withdrawal of the financial embargo in January, the Iranian administration is shifting from a bank-based financial system into a more market-based one (i.e. switching the trend of financing away from banks towards securities market). This would create great plenty of opportunities and special incentives to entice overseas investments into the country in a bid to finance economic projects.

    To capture a comprehensive view over the current conditions of the Iranian capital market, the Tehran Times conducted an interview with Amir Hamooni, CEO of Iran Fara Bourse (IFB), Iran's secondary securities exchange. Following is the full text of interview with him.


    How do you evaluate the general trend of IFB market after implementation of the nuclear deal, known as Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), with world powers in January?

    After the execution of the JCPOA and in the last three months of previous Iranian calendar year of 1394 (December 21, 2015- March 19, 2016), IFB could manage to attract up to 2 trillion rials (above $57.6 billion, at free market exchange rate) of foreign investments and has been successful to absorb the same amount during the first three months of the current Iranian calendar year (March 20-June 20, 2016), i.e., around 4 trillion rials (above $115 billion) of foreign investments has been absorbed by IFB as of the sanctions’ removal.
    Overseas investors sought to enter IFB market by investing in Structured Financial Products and via purchasing securities and principals, interest payments of which are fully guaranteed by the Iranian government (including different types of sukuk and Islamic Treasury Bills (ITBs)). They also pursue their investment goals through forging partnership with Iranian companies in IFB that need to apply modern technology to accelerate their renovation procedure, among we can name Pakvash. The recent Henkel-Pakvash agreement (Germany’s Henkel - one of the largest household and personal care manufacturing companies in the world - purchased 30 percent of Pakvash for a total value of around €51 million through IFB). It is worth mentioning that some other similar contracts with foreign investors are to be finalized within the next few weeks and consequently, the total volume of attracted foreign investments to IFB would surplus 10 trillion rials (above $288 billion) over the past six months following the JCPOA implementation.


    How do you analyze risk-return relations in domestic capital market at the present time?

    Iran’s primary and secondary capital market indices (TEDPIX and IFX respectively), have always reflected the country’s economic situation, clearly. During the past six months, despite some specific occasions when some emotional responses have influenced the market’s behavior, the general trend of the market has been rational.

    How do you consider the impact of Iran’s current political situation as well as its relations with international financial bodies on domestic capital market?

    We cannot deny the challenges that we still face in our relations with some international banks or some other global entities according to some political issues; however, it is worth noting that the said 4 trillion rials (above $288 billion) of foreign investments, as an available example, has been attracted under such trying circumstances and the related financial transactions have been carried out through Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT). Our near future transactions will also be done under the same conditions, since it would take some time both for us and our foreign partners to remove obstacles on the way to increase and ease our mutual transactions.


    Some experts voice concern that Iran’s bureaucracy and opaque ownership structures may hinder attraction of foreign investments. How do you think?  

    The money which is presently moving towards the Iranian capital market is smart, i.e. it is invested by those foreigners experienced, well-informed, in-the-know or all three. Overseas investors have a comprehensive overview of their Iranian partners as well as the country’s regulations. They will pave their way to Iran’s lucrative market as they did under the sanctions, when the conditions were much tougher. There are some power plants in Iran, technology and equipment of which were imported in sanctions era. They were established and put into operation under the same conditions and now they are taking preparatory steps to offer their stakes through a block sale on IFB. Smart money knows where to go and who to do business with. Now it is time for us to offer various investment opportunities. Of course, well-organized Iranian investment funds and banks as well as investment advisors and brokers are highly active in luring foreign investments in sectors which are in Iran’s economy’s favor and accord our own economic strategies and targets.


    Iran’s Sixth Five-Year Development Plan (2016- 2021), which outlines government strategies in its budget planning for the next five years and is going to be finalized by the parliament, pays a specific attention to improving the performance of securities markets with the participation of domestic and foreign investors in a bid to finance economic projects across the country via attracted investments rather than through banking resources. Will this plan be a practical and efficient one regarding Iran’s conditions? Can it hit the set targets?

    The situation is set to apply market-based financing system in Iran. By the JCPOA execution, the country has reached a historical turning point and in comparison with the past years, holds enormous potentials, including well-educated human resources in financial engineering, financial economics, accounting and etc., who can improve financial knowledge of the country in the future, as they did so during the recent years. As the available evidence proves, the IFB’s stake of financing the country’s projects has reached 30 percent at the present time, from the previous two percent when it started operation. This proves that seizing the current opportunities, IFB and of course Tehran Stock Exchange (TSE) can remarkably expand their share of financing in the near future.


    Securities and Exchange Organization (SEO) membership status in International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) became final recently, what about IFB membership in the international body?

    IOSCO is currently studying our membership request as an affiliate member. Our next step would definitely be to apply for World Federation of Exchanges (WFE) membership.

    Iran has been inundated with the rush of foreign investors who want to find a foothold to Iran’s untapped market. What is your message to them?

    Islamic Treasury Bills and Sukuk offer one of the best investment opportunities for foreigners. Iranian sukuk offer very high yields compared to European bond yields, providing a lucrative opportunity for foreign investors. We are trying to rate our debt securities to ease their investment.

    Source:Tehran Times

  • $40m in Interest for Bondholders

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    The Central Securities Depository of Iran will clear 1.4 trillion rials (about $40 million at market exchange rate) of interest payments to bondholders in Farvardin (Iranian month started March 20), a CSDI executive said.
    There are over 60 Islamic bonds or sukuk available for trade on Iranian securities exchanges, IRNA reported. "Fifteen of these bonds are due on interest payments, including nine corporate Ijara sukuk, five Musharaka sukuk from municipalities and companies, and one Murabaha bond," Shadrouz Khosravi added.
    According to the CDSI executive, 10 companies will also pay dividends on their shares in Farvardin through CSDI. The Central Securities Depository of Iran is the registry entity and custodian for Iranian securities, which clears payments and transfers ownership of securities.

  • 23 countries attending 3rd Iranian Auto Industry Intl. Conference

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     The 3rd Iranian Auto Industry International Conference kicked off on Monday in Tehran.

    The two-day event is hosting 363 Iranian and 137 foreign companies from 23 countries.

    Addressing the opening ceremony of the conference, Yong-Geon KIM, the president and CEO of Korea Automobile Manufacturers Association (KAMA), said Iran enjoys potential to become a car manufacturing hub in the region.



    Under the new condition (removal of the West-led sanctions against Iranian economy) Iran is moving in the appropriate way, he said; adding that with a population of 80 million Iran is a big market in the region.



    The automobile industry, the biggest non-oil sector of the Iranian economy, constituting around 10 percent of gross domestic product (GDP), boomed over the decade ending in 2011 due to government support and the dearth of international competitors in the domestic market.     



    Iran ranks 18th on the list of the world’s top auto manufacturers, according to the International Organization of Motor Vehicle Manufacturers (OICA).      



    Global automakers are in a race for new business in Iran following the signing of a nuclear accord between Iran and world powers on July 14, 2015, which ends economic sanctions against Iran in exchange for restrictions on its nuclear program.

       


  • 76million in Iran Using Mobile Phone


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    Based on New statistics have been released on the number of active subscribers to the mobile network of Iran’s first mobile operator.

    A report published by local technology website ICTNA states that the Mobile Telecommunications Company of Iran (or Hamrah-e-Aval) had 76,082,974 active mobile numbers by the end of the last Iranian year (March 19, 2016). This translates into a penetration rate of 96.58%. The statistics, released by the planning and strategic monitoring bureau of the Ministry of Communications and information Technology, indicate that by March 19, TCI had sold 150,348,312 SIM cards. The number of prepaid mobile phones sold during this time has been reported as 45,434,343. The company has also sold 18,051,585 contract mobile phones.

  • Annual car output drops 13.7% in Iran

     

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     976,836 cars were manufactured in Iran in the past Iranian calendar year (which ended on March 19), a 13.7 percent fall from the past year, the Fars news agency reported on Sunday.

    It is while the country’s car production had rose 53.4 percent in the previous calendar year compared to its preceding year.

    Iran is scheduled to produce 1.35 million cars by the end of the current calendar year of 1395 (which will end on March 20, 2017), according to Deputy Minister of Industry, Mining and Trade Mohsen Salehinia.

    As Salehinia underlined, the government seeks to improve the quality as well as the quantity of the domestically produced cars on the way to boost their exports, the IRIB reported on April 6.

    “Iran has commenced cooperation with foreign partners in auto sector,” he added, “One of Iranian giant auto-makers has signed joint venture with one of the foreign eminent car-producers and the executive officials of the agreement have been assigned.”

    The deputy minister also noted that the cooperatively produced cars will be unveiled and presented to the domestic market in the last two months of the current Iranian Year.

    The automobile industry, the biggest non-oil sector of the Iranian economy, constituting around 10 percent of gross domestic product (GDP), boomed over the decade ending in 2011 due to government support and the dearth of international competitors in the domestic market.

    Iran ranked 13th in the world sales of passenger cars, hitting the sale of 1,055,400 cars in 2015, according to a recent report of the International Organization of Motor Vehicle Manufacturers.

    According to the report, the amount of passenger cars sold in Iran in 2015 accounted for 1.59 percent of the world’s total sale.

  • Austria keen to help Iran in green energy, water management


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    Christian Benger, the regional minister of Austrian state of Carinthia for economy, agriculture and tourism, says there is high know-how technology in the fields of solar and other green energy resources as well as water management in Austria and the country is keen to help Iran in these areas.

    In an interview with Iranian Media , Benger said, “There is also high know-how in Austria for recycling plastics. You have petrochemical industry and we have technology to recycle your products, so a lot of opportunities we can develop.”

    The interview came on the sidelines of a meeting between Benger, heading a high-ranking trade delegation, and Masoud Khansari, the chairman of Tehran Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture.

    The Austrian minister mentioned problems with the banks and money transfer as the main downside for business in Iran, while noting, “I think this will be solved in the very near future.”

    Austrian banks help remove this obstacle, Benger said, adding, “Raiffeisen Bank is one of the main Austrian banks in the international business. It’s the Austrian control bank, which controls every international money transfer. This bank and all other banks are active and support resolving this problem. So, solutions will be seen in the near future.”

    Elsewhere in his remarks, the Austrian official said the trade level between Iran and Austria at this point is nice, but not enough. “I think we have big opportunities on both sides, so we are here to enforce these possibilities into potentials for both sides.”

    He also asserted that there is a big chance to develop tourism ties between the two countries.

     

     ‘Carinthia willing for long-term ties’

    “We are eager to have long-term cooperation and investment relations with Iran,” said Jürgen Mandl, the president of Carinthia Chamber of Commerce, in the meeting.

    “Carinthia is a state focusing on exports and now that the sanctions are being lifted against Iran we are focusing on this country, although our ties were never cut during the sanctions,” he noted.

    He said that Iran is not their final target for exports, while they see the country also a hub for access to all countries of the region.

    “Materializing all these objectives depends on the finance, so it is important for us that Austrian banks will resume ties as soon as possible”, the official further asserted.

     

     ‘Austria’s rapid action required to remove banking barriers’

    Khansari, for his part, said that for creating and developing trade ties between the two countries, Austrian banks should take rapid action to remove the problems related to transfer of money between Iran and Austria.

    While many European banks are still cautious to resume ties with Iran, two Austrian banks have already made relation with the country, the official highlighted.

    He said five trade delegations have visited Iran in the recent months and some fruitful negotiations have been conducted between the two sides.

    “Now that the sanctions are being removed against Iran, we the both sides should think about bilateral long-term investments for strengthening our trade ties,” Khansari asserted.

    It is worth mentioning that at the end of the meeting, a memorandum of understanding on trade cooperation was signed between the chambers of commerce of Tehran and Carinthia.

  • Bank Mellat to be reimbursed for reputational damage, loss of earnings

     

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     Sarosh Zaiwalla, Senior Partner of Zaiwalla & Co., has announced that Iran’s Bank Mellat will receive what is fairly owed to it to compensate for the many years of reputational damage and loss of earnings it has suffered.

    Bank Mellat, Iran’s largest privately-owned bank, has been fighting a legal battle since 2009 against sanctions that it said were wrongfully placed on it by the European Union and the UK Treasury over alleged links to Tehran’s nuclear program.

    Led by Sarosh Zaiwalla, a lawyer for the Iranian bank at Zaiwalla & Co. Solicitors, the bank challenged the European Council’s assertion that it engaged in conduct that supported Iran’s nuclear program and ballistic missile programs. It initially won a case before the EU’s General Court, which ruled in January 2013 that there wasn’t enough evidence to support the European asset freeze on the bank.

    Bank Mellat was unlawfully sanctioned by HM Treasury and after the UK Supreme Court dismissed HM Treasury’s appeal, the Bank is pursuing a damages claim against the HM Treasury to the tune of US $4bn in the UK Courts.

    On 10th May, the HM Treasury had applied to the Commercial Court to determine three preliminary issues relating to heads of losses under which Bank Mellat can claim its losses falling under those heads as damages.

    It was the first ruling in favor of an Iranian company since international sanctions were lifted on the Islamic Republic last month as part of a nuclear deal with world powers.

    Mr. Zaiwalla has described the judgment as the first big legal success for an Iranian corporation challenging the sanctions regime and predicted it could open the door to others.

    In an interview to Mehr News, sanctions expert Sarosh Zaiwalla, answered the following questions on the issue:

    Why did the Bank Mellat sanction pop up? Why was it an abrogation of the international law?

    The case of Bank Mellat is a long running case, which began seven years ago in 2009 when the UK government issued notification prohibiting dealing with Bank Mellat. This decision of the government was challenged by Bank Mellat in the London Court. In June 2013, my firm had a breakthrough in the case when a Judgment by the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom held that the sanctions imposed by the UK government on Bank Mellat, in 2009, were both irrational and unlawful. The UK Supreme Court then asked the London High Court to assess Bank Mellat’s losses, which the bank can claim as damages for its unlawful listing by the UK government. The bank has now commenced a claim in the London High Court claiming USD 4 billion damages against the UK government. The trial of this claim will take place shortly.

    The subsequent positive court judgment of the Supreme Court, follows a victory in the European Court in January 2013, where the European Court of Justice said there was no evidence connecting Iran’s largest private bank to the government’s nuclear programme.

     

    What is the stature of our Bank Mellat foreign trade and what impact did the sanction have on its revenues?

    Bank Mellat has claimed in the English Court that it has suffered substantial damages because of the UK government’s actions. It is the bank’s position that it has suffered substantial losses as a result of the government’s listing of Bank Mellat.

     

    When and how do you expect the US$4 billion damages to be cleared by HM Treasury?

    The next scheduled hearing to decide on the compensation for Bank Mellat from HM Treasury is scheduled for October 2016. We are quietly optimistic that the bank will receive what is fairly owed to it to compensate for the many years of reputational damage and loss of earnings it has suffered.

     

    You have deemed the law case as ‘a crucial victory for Bank Mellat’. What are the significances of this major legal victory?

    The Bank Mellat case clearly shows the world that even in the world of sanctions, the rule of law still applies in the Western world, particularly in the English Court. The UK Supreme Court judges showed great independence and courage to hold the UK government’s conduct as both unlawful and irrational.

    Regardless of international politics, Europe says there must be a reason to curtail the rights of an entity or individual. The EU court held that the EU Council was wrong in its designation of the bank as the bank did not fit the EU’s criteria for sanctions. The message that this shows to the world outside of Europe is that there is a true independence of the EU Court, which is willing to fight against its sister institutions. Unlike cases we are seeing from the US, we can see that true justice can be sought and delivered from the European courts.

     

    The case was an interesting example of the difficult terrain of court ‘interference’ with essentially political decisions. How would you evaluate the stance and decision taken by the Supreme Court?

    The United Nations Treaty on International Human Rights, which every member of the United Nations has signed, no country is allowed to interfere with the property rights of any individual without due process. This makes it essential that actions taken by the government, like imposing sanctions for political reasons, are based on good reliable evidence and not on the whims and fancy of any government.

     

    Sarosh Zaiwalla founded Zaiwalla & Co. Solicitors in April 1982 with offices in Chancery Lane, London. He has been involved in over 1200 International Energy, Maritime and Construction Arbitrations in London and worldwide either as a solicitor, Counsel, party-appointed Arbitrator or Sole Arbitrator. Recently, he succeeded for Bank Mellat of Iran against the UK Government in the UK Supreme Court challenging legality of Iran nuclear sanctions.

  • Bank Saderat intl. branches removed from sanctions list

     
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    The international branches of Bank Saderat Iran (BSI), as one of the largest Middle Eastern banks operating in the fields of International banking and finance, have been removed from the blacklist of financial sanctions.

    The announcement was made by Bank Saderat Iran (BSI) in a statement, adding “the removal of banking sanctions by the Executive Council of the European Union has presented a new opportunity for all stakeholders, shareholders and all who have an interested in Bank Saderat Iran.”

    The statement referred to several rounds of negotiations held with various EU officials and the BSI’s constant legal measures that finally led to the removal of the bank’s 28 international branches, including Bank Saderat PLC in London, from the blacklist of financial sanctions against Iran.

    On Mon. the UK Treasury announced in a press release that the “Council Regulation (EU) 267/2012 imposing financial sanctions against Iran (nuclear proliferation) has been amended”, adding that the BSI and Bank Saderat PLC are no longer under asset freeze.

    “The unfreezing of the assets of the largest stock exchange bank in Iran that holds over 50 per cent of the country’s banking system capacities overseas, is promising and beneficial not only for the stakeholders, but the economy of the whole country,” the BSI statement read.

    It went on to add that the sanctions relief will bring about many economic benefits including facilitation and expedition of international trade, reduction of foreign exchange costs, and an increase in investment.

    BSI, founded in 1952 in Tehran and with 28 international branches and services in 12 countries such as London, Paris, Hamburg, Frankfurt and Athens, had been subject to sanctions since 2010.

کتاب عملیات بانکی در عرصه بین الملل -سرفصل ها،ضمائم ،توصیه صاحب‏نظران ارزی و مدیران ارشد بانکی

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