World  Business and Economic Analysis 


  • cryptocurrencies is booming in Iran




    Public interest in cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin is booming in Iran as a report estimates that unregulated exchanges are engaged in nearly $200 million worth of trade for digital currencies everyday.

    The Iranian government has yet to recognize cryptocurrencies for local trade and platforms use normal authentication procedures to be able to process transactions.
    The report said that the number of investors with activity in the local crypto market had exceeded one million, adding that daily trading volume in a total of 20 platforms amounts to 50 trillion rials ($200 million). many of the people engaged in trade for cryptocurrencies were retail investors who have been discouraged by a recent drop in the value of trade in theTehranStockExchange(TSE). people were taking the risk of buying a bitcoin to compensate for the losses they have suffered in the TSE, where main index TEDPIX has dropped to 1.22 million points, down from over 2 million recorded in mid-summer.
    That comes as the global daily trading volume for cryptocurencies has reached nearly $200 billion in a market valued at around $1.4 trillion where the dominant currency bitcoin has surged to over $57,000.


  • Do you know Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Act (English) in Iran?



    We Welcome Investment

    Iran has a small, highly globalised economy, with a well-established FDI sector generating significant exports across business sectors.

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  • Dubai Developer of World's Tallest Tower Going to New Heights


    Peter Thiel, head of Clarium Capital Management LLC and founding investor in PayPal Inc. and Facebook Inc., speaks during the LendIt USA 2016 conference in San Francisco, California, U.S., on Tuesday, April 12, 2016. Thiel discussed his outlook for the tech industry. Photographer: Noah Berger/Bloomberg *** Local Caption *** Peter Thiel
    VC Peter Thiel Says Just About Everything Is Overvalued, Not Just Tech
    The sun sets beyond oil pumping units, also known as nodding donkeys or pump jacks, at an oil plant operated by MND AS in Uhrice, Czech Republic, on Monday, March 23, 2015. Oil rose as the dollar weakened for a third day, making commodities priced in the U.S. currency more attractive to investors.
    Emaar Properties PJSC plans to build a $1 billion skyscraper in Dubai that will exceed the height of the Burj Khalifa, currently the world’s tallest building.

    The tower within its Dubai Creek Harbour project will be “a notch taller” than the 828-meter Burj Khalifa, Chairman Mohamed Alabbar said at a press conference on Sunday, declining to be more specific. Construction will start at the end of June and will finish before Dubai hosts the World Expo in 2020.

    “We wanted to build a new landmark for Dubai,” Alabbar said. “When we look at Downtown and the Burj Khalifa, the area is almost full to the rim.”

    Dubai, the Gulf’s tourist and business hub, is developing hotels and entertainment projects as it aims to attract 20 million tourists annually by 2020 from 10 million in 2012. Emaar’s new tower will have an observation deck, gardens and 18 to 20 floors available for shops, restaurants and other tourist facilities, Alabbar said. The project will be financed by 50 percent of equity and 50 percent of debt.

    Source :Bloomberg

  • Dubai launches FDI monitor at Annual Investment Meeting 2016


    Dubai attracted Dh28.6 billion in greenfield foreign investments in 2015, according to the emirate's newly launched FDI Monitor.
    The Dubai Investment Development Agency (Dubai FDI), an agency of the Department of Economic Development - Dubai, revealed new achievements for Dubai's global FDI rankings in its first 'Dubai FDI Monitor' reports series.
    According to Financial Times Markets data quoted in the report, Dubai attracted Dh28.6 billion in greenfield FDI in 2015. The emirate witnessed 16 per cent growth in the number of greenfield FDI projects to 279, compared with 240 in 2014, and nearly Dh20 billion ($5.3 billion) of FDI inflows.
    "Dubai continued to enhance its position as a preferred global FDI destination in 2015 by climbing global FDI rankings to fourth position in number of greenfield projects and sixth in foreign capital attracted, according to FT Markets," said Sami Al Qamzi, director-general of the DED.
    The Dubai FDI Monitor report shows that Saudi Arabia, US, UK, India and Kuwait were the top five source countries for FDI to Dubai in 2015, generating Dh14.9 billion or ($4 billion) and representing 76 per cent of total FDI for the whole year.
    As for the largest number of projects in 2015, the top five source countries were US, UK, India, Germany and Switzerland, generating a total of 168, or 60 per cent, of total FDI projects.
    Pointing to a strong technology component in capital inflows to the emirate, the Dubai FDI Monitor reveals that 71 per cent of FDI projects in 2015 qualified as high and medium tech, generating 59 per cent of total FDI.
    Fahad Al Gergawi, CEO of Dubai FDI, said: "Dubai has been successful in attracting investments in smart city technologies, renewable energy and green buildings among other high-tech sectors that improve productivity and efficiency while accelerating the transition to a green and sustainable economy."
    The Dubai FDI Monitor also reaffirms Dubai's ability to facilitate business and serve an expanding consumer market across the Middle East, Africa and South Asia through business services, trade and tourism.
    Top industries by number of projects in 2015 were professional services, IT services, transportation and warehousing, finance and retail. The top five industries generated 164 projects, representing 59 per cent of total projects in 2015.
    The Dubai FDI initiative to establish an FDI Monitor at a city level sets a precedent among investment promotion agencies globally. The FDI monitor was developed in partnership with Wavteq, an FDI technology and consulting company, and aims to map out the investment landscape in Dubai through analysing FDI flows.

  • Due Diligence for your business partner in Iran


    Due Diligence
    Who to trust is a key business decision and there is a lack of data available to normal channels in Iran. World Business Year's confidential Due Diligence service allows our members to conduct high level checks to ensure your good governance.

    Individual Check

    Individuals are discreetly checked out for credibility, reputation and any potential 'red flags'.
    Company Check

    Corporate requirements need confidence in supply chain or distributors, professional services or potential partners. This check is done carefully and comprehensively.
    Data Check

    Critical data for fundamental business decisions must be checked by a third party or there is a risk of inaccuracies causing embarrassment or failure.

    Keywords:Due Diligence ,Invest ,Iran

  • European Companies Need Patience



    Heinrich Matthee

    Since the nuclear deal, European companies have been flocking in trade missions to Iran. These companies often also enjoy the support of national and regional governments from Germany and France to Italy or the Netherlands. However, their main obstacle at present is the lack of active support by their preferred financial lenders.
    Several major European banks have stated that they are not prepared to do business in Iran at this stage. These banks include Germany’s Deutsche Bank, Zurich-based Credit Suisse Group and the U.K.’s Standard Chartered.
    The considerable potential in Iran is as apparent to these banks as to European companies. The inhibitions of European banks are rooted in the USA. They remain scared of running afoul of remaining US sanctions on Iran.
    Painful recent examples keep them alert to the potential drawbacks. BNP Paribas had to pay a record $9 billion US fine partly due to its dealings with Iran. The German Commerzbank agreed to pay $1.45 billion in 2015 in an investigation into whether it breached US sanctions against countries including Iran.
    Thus, a major French bank like Société Générale indicated in May 2016 that it does not plan to restart activities in Iran given the “strong operational risks for financial institutions.” SWIFT, the global bank transactions network, has been reconnected to Iran, but remains dormant.
    It will for now remain difficult to finance major projects and operations. European businesses will either have to find funders or the contracts will not be finalized. For smaller projects, European businesses may find lenders like the Belgian KBC and smaller German banks. Invoicing in Euro and other non-dollar denominations will remain advisable for some time.   
    However, for bigger projects, the funding issue will remain and has now landed on the agenda of European economic diplomacy too.

    Several European governments have started talks with U.S. authorities to get a commitment that banks can do business without incurring legal woes.
    European trade diplomats indicate that there is progress but that it will take time to resolve all the issues. There have been tense US-Iran relations for almost a quarter-century. The financial issue clearly remains a bargaining chip for some US actors.
    The US political position over the long term will also play a role in the reticence of some European banks. After all, the outcome of the US presidential elections in November and the actual policies of a new president remains unclear. These banks do not want to be caught in a new political minefield.
    Thus, for major projects, the funding issue will take time to resolve. It will also remain important for many European companies to understand the ownership and control of their counterparts in Iran. External stakeholder and reputation management and embedding corporate governance standards in their operations remain on the agenda of many.
    In this regard, a remark by Hans-Peter Rapp-Frick, the CEO of the German regional trade association SIHK, deserves attention. One of the biggest drivers of Iranian-European business ties is that Iran’s actors do not only want to conduct business, but that people also want to continue building something of value in Iran.  Despite current obstacles, Iran’s potential will continue to attract European business interest. Those businesses with a longer view, persistence and a commitment to Iranian society will have the greater chances for success.   

    Dr. Heinrich Matthee is a director of JISR, an EU-based strategic advisory firm.

  • Export of Iran’s LPG Booming



    An Iranian official has announced that exports volume of Iranian Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) hit 80 thousand tons in the first two months of the current Iranian year (began March 20).

    Amir Vakilzadeh, Director of the Exports and Imports Office at National Iranian Oil Products Distribution Company (NIOPDC), stressed that “in the current year, no amount of liquid gas has been burned by domestic refineries.”

    “All produced LPG inside the country has been deployed to foreign markets in the present year,” underscored the official adding “overall, more than 80 thousand tons of Iranian LPG were shipped to foreign countries in the first two months of the current year spanning from March 20 to May 20.”

    Vakilzadeh pointed out that LPG exports are being undertaken via surface to neighboring countries as well as the sea to African countries by exploiting ISO tanks; “LPG exports volume reached 127 thousand tons in the previous year while more than 80 thousand tons have been exported only in the first two months of the current year.”

    African countries like Kenya, South Africa and Tanzania have been purchasing Iran’s LPG over the past two years in the form of ISO tank container shipments.

    CEO of the Iranian Gas Commercial Company (IGCC) Mohammad Ali Barati has recently maintained that gas exports volume will climb by 5000 tons following the implementation of new South Pars developmental phases; “Middle Eastern countries form the largest market for Iran’s LPG.”

  • First International Forum on Investment Opportunities In Health Sector

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    Health system of the Islamic Republic of Iran backed by specialized manpower, knowledge of health, health care network and comprehensive plan of universal health coverage, has achieved upper position in the region approved by the World Health Organization. Iranian specialist and experts have the highest therapeutic technique. More than 95 percent of drug and nearly 50 percent of needed medical equipment are domestically produced.

    We are pioneer in many areas in the region. In accordance with the Vision of the Islamic Republic of Iran in 1404, the General Policies of Health issued by the Supreme leader and actions taken by the government, the issues of improving the utilization of health services and achieving appropriate place in the region are prioritized. Accordingly, Health Transformation plan was designed and implemented. On the basis of the viewpoints of domestic and international observers, it has made to enhance public satisfaction from received services, particularly in the hospital sector.

    Similar to the approach of the government, the Ministry of Health try not to extend public services and instead the need to use the private sector is highlighted. In this regard, the Ministry of Health and Medical Education welcomes foreign investment and participation of Iranian living aboard in the development of the health infrastructure. The main policy of the Ministry of Health and Medical Education is to purchase strategic services and provide sustainable resources.

    To achieve international standard in health infrastructure, we need to provide more than one hundred thousand hospital beds, more than 600 projects on imaging equipment in different fields, 50 projects in the specialized hospital of cancer comprehensive therapy, 2800 dialysis beds and more than 3000 ground ambulances and 44 air ambulances. If the reconstruction of existing facilities is added to the volume of the needs, investment mark in Iran will be more expanded and reached over 25 billion dollars.

    Investors note that the volume of needs is only to meet the health needs of the population of Iran. With regard to the population of 400 million people in the region, if the needs of health tourism and drug and medical equipment will be added to them, the need for investment will go far beyond. Our highly skilled manpower has provided very suitable conditions for investment in knowledge- based areas, especially in the health sector.


  • First VCT Prepares for Underwriting


    Morteza Mirmohammadi Wrote in Financial Tribune  Daily Newspaper that Iran’s first venture capital trust to get listed, will open for underwriting on Iran Fara Bourse on Monday, says Lotus Parsian Investment Bank’s chief executive.

    Iran’s dip into the world of private equity is accelerating, as the public is allowed to buy investment units in venture capital trusts, which in turn invest in small tech companies and foster them.

    Venture capital funds are a pillar of modern finance. They raise capital from wealthy investors and invest in risky startups. Later, they sell their equity in ventures that succeed.

    However, VCTs, a British innovation, raise their money from investors through capital markets with less restriction on investors.

    In the UK, £458 million were invested into VCTs in the 2015/16 tax year, according to figures compiled by the Association of Investment Companies.

    A venture capital trust is designed for individual investors to gain access to investments via the capital markets. Its mandate is to seek out potential venture capital investments in small unlisted firms to generate higher than average risk-adjusted returns for its investors.

    Lotus Parsian’s CEO Ali Teymouri Shandi said Rouyesh Lotus will be the first of its kind to offer its investment units to the public, the initial phase of which will take about a week from Dec. 19 to 25.

    Teymouri hopes to raise 105 billion rials ($2.6 million at market exchange rates) for Rouyesh Lotus during the underwriting period from investors on IFB and 350 billion rials in the next six months.

    The VCT will invest in healthcare, biotechnology and financial technology.

    Rouyesh Lotus has strong ties with Royan Institute, which is one of the fund’s principal investors, and will fund research for cures to blood and breast cancer, diabetes, arthritis and deep wounds and burns, according to Securities and Exchange News Agency.

    Royan Institute is dedicated to biomedical, translational and clinical researches.

      VCT Regulations

    VCT regulations were finalized by SEO in August, according to which, IFB will create a separate board to list them. The new regulations and procedures have been designed to garner more support for Iran’s small base of startups. It is part of a government objective to expand “knowledge-based economy” with the ultimate goal of diversifying the Iranian economy away from oil.

    Based on regulatory requirements by the Securities and Exchange Organization, the VCT has to keep 30% of its investment capital in cash. This will help the fund’s liquidity and ability to take advantage of opportunities but is likely to diminish its returns.

    According to IFB CEO Amir Hamouni, a group of four called the “Venture Capital Review Committee” has been formed to review applications for setting up VCTs.

    The group will have three voting members. The head of the committee will be appointed by SEO. IFB’s board will appoint the second member. The IFB will also pick a Venture Capital specialist as the third member who is also approved by the SEO. An IFB executive will be chosen as the fourth member of the committee, and will act as the committee’s secretary.

    As is evident from the makeup of this committee, SEO intends to keep it under its full control just like it treats TSE and IFB.


  • Foreign Direct Investment and Project Finance Consultancy


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  • Foreign direct investment on the rise in Iran’s automotive sector


     Oxford Business Group reported that The lifting of trade sanctions and moves to open the Iranian economy to foreign direct investment have seen a number of international car manufacturers queue up to break into the country’s rapidly expanding automotive industry.

    Iran’s automotive industry currently accounts for nearly 10% of the country’s GDP, the largest non-oil contributor, according to press reports.
    JV to boost production

    In late September France’s Renault announced it had finalised an agreement to create a joint venture (JV) with state-owned Industrial Development and Renovation Organisation of Iran (IDRO) to expand the company’s existing presence in the local market.

    Under the terms of the JV, in which Renault has a majority stake, the car manufacturer will establish a new plant with an initial production capacity of 150,000 units per year, adding to its current 200,000-unit capacity in the country. The plant is expected to come on-line within two years, and Renault will also be authorised to set up its own distribution network, including sales and after-sales dealers.

    Mohammad Reza Nematzadeh, minister of industry, mines and trade, said the deal was part of a broader government initiative to expand and strengthen the automotive industry’s product offerings.

    “The Iranian government wants to attract foreign investment in the Iranian car industry to bring competitive new products benefitting Iranian customers with respect to standards, quality and safety,” Nematzadeh said when the agreement was signed.

    For its part, Renault is looking to expand its footprint to become the third-largest producer in Iran – behind Iran Khodro (IKCO) and SAIPA, both subsidiaries of IDRO –according to a statement made to industry media by Bernard Cambier, senior vice-president and chairman of the Africa-Middle East-India region at Renault. Currently, Renault has cooperative deals with both firms for the production of Renault-designed passenger vehicles.
    Citroën re-enters the market

    The Renault deal comes as fellow French manufacturer Citroën looks to regain its position in the Iranian market, after pulling out of the country in 2012.

    In early October Citroën’s parent company, Groupe PSA, signed a JV agreement with its former partner, SAIPA, to produce Citroën vehicles at a new plant in Kashan.

    Under the 50:50 agreement, the partners will invest more than €300m in manufacturing and research and development capacity through to 2021, with production of three Citroën models to begin in 2018. Imports of Citroën vehicles will commence next year ahead of direct production.

    SAIPA officials have said locally sourced parts and supplies will account for 35% of production when assembly begins, rising to 70% by 2020.

    The French firms’ expansion plans drove up share values on the Tehran Stock Exchange’s automotive index in the first week of October, pushing the index up by 8.4%, contrasting with a 0.2% dip on the all-share board.
    Queuing up

    Manufacturers from further afield are also looking to establish a presence in the Iranian automotive industry.

    During President Hassan Rouhani’s visit to Kuala Lumpur in early October, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak said Malaysia was looking to boost economic cooperation between the two countries, with the automotive sector being one of the key areas targeted.

    “Iran has imported 12,000 Proton Saga [cars] in the past and we hope to participate in the automotive industry, particularly as [a] supplier,” Najib said.

    Germany is similarly eyeing a slice of Iran’s vehicle market. In early October Sigmar Gabriel, Germany’s vice chancellor and federal minister for economic affairs, and Ali Tayebnia, Iran’s minister of economic affairs and finance, signed a series of memoranda of understanding to boost economic cooperation across a number of sectors, including automotive, finance, energy and infrastructure.

    While final details of what form the automotive cooperation will take have yet to be released, the agreement demonstrates Germany’s intent to challenge the rising presence of French brands already on the ground in Iran.

    One German-owned brand that has already announced plans to begin exports to Iran is Volkswagen’s Czech manufacturer Skoda, with Bernhard Maier, CEO of Skoda, saying in late September that the firm was aiming to target sales in both Iran and South Korea.
    Leading the way

    The international interest is timely, with Iran seeing an upswing in production.

    Last year domestic output stood at just under 885,000 passenger vehicles and around 97,500 commercial vehicles, according to the International Organisation of Motor Vehicle Manufacturers. While most of the production was geared towards meeting local demand, some units were exported, mainly to countries in the MENA region.

    Production has accelerated further in the first half of this year, with nearly 580,000 vehicles – including 534,000 passenger cars and a mix of buses, pick-ups and trucks – rolling off assembly lines since March 20, the beginning of the Iranian calendar year, representing a 15.6% year-on-year increase, according to press reports.

    The MENA market is expected to see strong growth over the next five years, with Iran set to be among the leaders in terms of expansion, according to PwC’s “2016 Auto Industry Trends” report. Demand in the Iranian market is expected to more than double to 2m vehicles by 2020, according to estimates made by industry stakeholders.

    Issued in October, the report said that expansion in MENA will also help offset projected deceleration in some other established and developing markets, such as Russia, Brazil and the US.

  • Foreign Firms to Invest $1 Billion in Iran’s Ports


    Iran is developing ports to handle more shipments of export cargo and import cargo in international trade.

        Iran is expecting GDP growth of as much as 6.7 percent in the next two years.

    Foreign firms are expected to make nearly $1 billion of investment in the country’s port and shipping industry. That, according to the managing director of Iran’s Ports and Maritime Organization (PMO) Mohammad Saeednejad.

    Since the removal of sanctions related to Iran’s nuclear program, under a deal negotaited between Iran and six countries, various foreign delegations have travelled to Iran and expressed willingness to invest in the country’s port and maritime projects, Saeednejad told the Tasnim news agency.

    Iran is also the second largest country in the Middle East with a population of 80 million, an estimated GDP of $435 billion, and expected growth of as much as 6.7 percent in the next two years. The country is also positioned as a global trade gateway to the Commonwealth of Independent States, a market of more than 400 million people.

    Nine major foreign investors have so far submitted their bids to develop Shahid Rajaee port in Iran’s southern city of Bandar Abbas, he said, adding that the proposals are under study.

    “New contracts worth nearly $1 billion to develop the country’s ports will be signed this year,” the Iranian port official said, referring to the Iranian year which ends March 20.

    In June, India pledged to contribute $500 million to the development of a port at Chabahar in southern Iran, as part of a deal that also includes Afghanistan. The deal helps provide India with access to markets in Iran, Afghanistan, and Central Asia.

    Saeednejad also said that 17 major international shipping lines have chosen the country’s ports among their ports of call.

    Among others, the world’s largest container carrier Maersk Line has reentered the Iran market after a five-year absence. Maersk’s Iran business will be managed by a team that oversees a cluster of countries,which also includes the United Arab Emirates, Oman, and Qatar.

    In recent months, Iran’s southern Shahid Rajaei port and other major ports have turned into major hubs for shipping and transship activities. The Iran’s Ports and Maritime Organization have rated thee facilities as suitable for international vessels following the removal of the sanctions.

    But even with the easing of sanctions following the nuclear deal, a raft of other trade restrictions remain in place.

  • German study reveals solar opportunities in Iran


    Government commissioned report "Enabling PV Iran" sets out the guidelines for entry into the Iranian PV market for German companies.
    Iran's energy minister Hamid Chitchian (third from left) revealed the country's plans to increase its renewable energy capacity, with solar playing a key role.

    Iran's energy minister Hamid Chitchian  revealed the country's plans to increase its renewable energy capacity, with solar playing a key role.

    In the rush to take advantage of the dropping of Western sanctions against Iran, the solar industry doesn’t want to be left behind. The EU and the United States lifted the majority of their sanctions against Iran on 16 January 2016 as part of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) agreement, and already companies are scrambling to see what opportunities await them. One such industry, which is underdeveloped, yet bustling with possibility, is the Iranian PV market.

    Aiming to be ahead of the curve, the German Foreign Office was quick to sponsor a study, completed by BSW Solar in collaboration with Tehran-based Iran-Wind Group, to assess the lay of the land and to guide companies trying to enter the market. The extensive report, “Enabling PV Iran,” shows that the financial situation in Iran has greatly improved as a result of lifting of sanctions. Of particular interest is the updating of the country’s feed-in tariff. The latest proposed FIT is generous, totaling €0.17 to €0.30 ($0.33)/kWh, under a 20-year contract.

    The guide also offers advice on how to establish business networks and to carry out transactions, in a country that enjoys 300 days of sunlight a year across 80% of its expansive territory. Coupled with the fact that less than 1% of Iran’s power is generated by solar, the huge potential becomes abundantly clear. Although many business relations were broken during the years that the sanctions were in place, German companies are poised to take advantage of the opening up of Iranian borders, as Iran’s largest European trading partner.

    The influx of German investment may have already begun, as Iranian news agency Mehr reported back in November 2015 that an unnamed German company has signed a deal to build several solar power plants close to Tehran, with a combined capacity of 1.25 GW. In addition to this, Iran’s Ministry of Energy announced in January 2016 that it will authorize 1 GW of solar and wind contracts in March, with an additional 35 percent bonus offered to companies that use Iranian manufactured equipment.

    To cement Germany’s position and to explore further PV opportunities in Iran, Economy and Energy Minister Sigmar Gabriel will travel to Iran on 2 May with an economic delegation. The Iranian government has set itself a goal of installed renewable energy capacity to reach 5 GW by 2020. With the amount of sunlight that shines on Iran, solar seems like the right fit to achieve this goal.

    However, before companies go full steam ahead with their investments in Iran, they should still consider that some sanctions have been kept in place, while the old sanctions could be put straight back in place, should Iran fail to implement its commitments under the JCPOA. Additionally, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) expressed “exceptional concern” over the substantial money laundering and financing of terrorism risks that emanate from the country, which should encourage companies to take extra care when planning on making any investments in Iran.

    Read more:

  • How Wealthy Are Iranian Expats?



    Around five to six million Iranians are living overseas, constituting 7% of the total population of the country.
    Figures on their wealth are unreliable, as different sources release widely divergent numbers, Forsat-e Emrooz daily reported.
    In March 2007, the Iranian Parliament Research Center, citing National Elites Foundation, put the capital assets of Iranian expatriates at over $1.3 trillion and those of Iranian-Americans alone at over $900 billion.
    More than 6,500 companies and 10,000 university students were living in Dubai then and 1,400-odd Iranians have invested in Dubai Stock Exchange.
    In January 2014, Alireza Rahmatnia, a deputy vice president, put Iranian investments abroad at around $700 billion, $200 billion of which were concentrated in the UAE alone.
    In June 2015, Javad Qavam Shahidi, a senior official with the Iranian Expatiates Affairs High Council, mentioned an estimated $2 trillion as the wealth of foreign-based Iranians.
    The interesting point is that this amount exceeded the country’s GDP in 2014 and that absorption of just 10% of this potential capital could work miracles for the country’s economy.
    This is while the outflow of capital from the country is not unlikely. Rich Iranian investors are expected to put their money into buying real estates across the world.
    Research by Rockstone Real Estate shows Iranian merchants and millionaires are highly likely to purchase real estate worth £6 billion within five to 10 years following the removal of nuclear sanctions.
    London, Dubai, Switzerland, Germany and France are the odds-on favorite to become their destinations, the report reads.

  • Hungary’s MOL Keen on Joining Iran Oil Projects



    Hungary's state-owned oil and gas group MOL has indicated preparedness to join oil projects in Iran by the adopting enhanced oil recovery (EOR) and improved oil recovery (IOR) techniques, a senior Iranian oil official said.

    Following a meeting with MOL deputy chief executive officer, Berislav Gaso, in his Tehran office on Wednesday, Deputy Petroleum Minister in International Affairs and Trading Amir Hossein Zamani Nia said the company has over 70 years of experience in the field.

    Zamani Nia who hosted the meeting with the Hungarian energy delegation, which was headed by Janos Kovacs, the Hungarian ambassador, said MOL is keen on establishing long-term partnership with Iranian energy companies.
    “Presence and partnership in natural gas export projects in Iran and construction of gas pipelines were the main areas MOL has shown interest to work in Iran,” the official said.

    Furthermore, purchase of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) and partnership in refinery, liquefied natural gas (LNG) and NGL projects are other areas that MOL has indicated readiness to work in Iran, he added.
    MOL is operating in oil and gas projects in 33 countries.

    The company has also purchased a crude oil cargo from Iran which is being consumed by Hungarian refineries, said Zamani Nia.
    Prior to the meeting, the Hungarian delegation met with Managing Director of the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) Ali Kardor.

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  • Interview with Farzaneh Daneshmand,CEO Cheegel Company


    WBY talks to, Farzaneh  Daneshmand CEO of Cheegel Co., on first ecommerce company in Iran .






    What diversified services the Cheegel and the group provides?

    Cheegel is first and the only Iranian E-marketplace that has developed by IsDynamic Company base on strong R&D and so advance software product line of IsDynamic. So, at first let me introducing and presenting IsDynamic History then I will back to Cheegel history as one of outcome of IsDynamic.

    IsDynamic is a knowledge base company in field of Super Large Scale software Solutions. This company has established on 24 June 2009, and I found it based on more than 12 years of executive and management experience in information technology and management of private firms.

    IsDynamic after 8 years hard working, at 2016 grew up significantly and now it is one of the famous software companies in Iran. IsDynamic has succeeded to achieve ASPA  Excellence Award and is known as one of fourth superior's software Tech Company in Asia. IsDynamic has done many offshore software projects at different countries for example USA, Netherland and UK. Through doing international projects, IsDynamic achieved newest technologies of developing super large scale software applications. Last year this company success to achieve most high rank certificate of knowledge based companies in Iran from Vice Presidency of Science and Technology for its Software Product Line (SPL) and the internet base services has developed base on this SPL include Cheegel and Yaapost.

    At end of 2016, IsDynamic changed its structure to group companies and registered two other companies under IsDynamic brand and positions in aim to commercialization and business development of Cheegel and Yaapost. Meanwhile the R&D department of IsDynamic has started to develop third internet base service name as A2aTourims.

    Cheegel is a mesh model E-Marketplace that has developed for countries are member of Silk Road in aim to two way business between them.
    Cheegel business model supports Online local b2c ,Online cross border b2c, Online/ offline cross border b2b

    What is Cheegel Product Strategy?

    Cheegel model in supplying products and goods is based on supply chains model. According to this model that is popular in E-Marketplaces, every producer and manufactures catalog itself and its products catalogue on Cheegel. All detail information about product at many views and aspects like attributes, locations, market info and many other detailed has considered in e-catalogue. But in some cases depend to Cheegel business strategy, may be even Cheegel do as a supplier. In many cases it is smarter that Cheegel supply product and catalogue them on the site. So, Cheegel E-Market place is a hybrid model.
    How Iranian government support start-up companies?
    Iranian government from more than 14 years ago by establishing and developing science and technology parks and innovation centers, has made an echo system for accelerating and growing knowledge base companies.
    The Vice presidency of science and technology's mission is realizing knowledge base economy of Iran by developing the physical infrastructure of since and technology parks and too developing supportive business and trading laws like free tax, Fund raising by governmental funds, Long term loans, venture capital and etc.
    So start-up companies that mostly established by high talent student has graduated from university or entrepreneurs that has ideas but need supports, has found STP's as best environment for them to starting developing their ideas.
    At other side, parliament of Iran has approved an advance law of knowledge base companies for supporting this national strategy. Achieving to knowledge base certificate is not easy because the evaluating processes are so advance process and it has 3 degrees (new born, Industrial, producer). There are about 3000 (three thousands) knowledge base companies that about 75 percent are in new born level and only 25 percent put in two other mentioned level.
    The exchange market of Iran has opened a special line for Iranian knowledge base companies and has supportive law for make it possible for these types of companies raise funds from this market by selling some shares of their companies.
     The current laws in field of trade and finance in Iran has now updated as well as for support the laws of knowledge base companies and it is a challenge but it seems in near future this challenge will  be overcome by government.

    What are the factors which led to the success of Cheegel   as the fastest growing company in Iran?

    There are different factors from different views and aspects. But there are some critical success factors (CSF's). The first CSF is fund. Cheegel is in very good stage for a big change and big grow up.
    Moreover Marketing and banding. Cheegel is in best stage for do it strong branding strategy
    human resource strategy and development. Cheegel has potential for employing very motivated knowledge workers and too top managers for its so critical departments like as CRM, SRM, Legal, Contract management, Marketing).

    What are you future growth plans of Cheegel?

        Cheegel Action Plan 2017  encompassed such as  different phases Online Retailing Iranian goods and products in local market (Iran). Online  and offline Wholesaling , exporting Iranian goods and products to china, Middle East  and CIS countries

    What opportunities are for the growth of your company in Iran?

    Cheegel is a supply chain model. Iranian suppliers profile themselves and after Cheegel SRM team evaluating and approving them Iran has more than 4,000,000 businesses in size of small, medium ad large close.

  • Invest in Lebanon





    Located on the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea, the Republic of Lebanon is a mainly mountainous country of great scenic beauty. With a total area of just 3,950sq m (10,452sq km), Lebanon is one of the world’s smallest sovereign states, but both culturally and geographically it is in many ways a gateway to the Middle East, a country where east meets west.
    View over Lebanon from Mount Harissa

    Lebanon is a beautiful, mountainous country on the Mediterranean Sea. Here it is pictured from the top of Mount Harissa, 650m above sea level

    With a population of about 4.3m, Lebanon is one of the most densely populated countries in the Mediterranean area. It also enjoys one of the highest literacy rates in the Middle East. The capital of Lebanon is Beirut and the official language is Arabic, though English and French are widely spoken.

    In the period following the end of the Lebanese civil war that lasted from 1975 to 1990, Lebanon has experienced very significant economic growth. This has generated considerable interest among foreigners – both individuals and organisations – looking to invest in Lebanon.

    The IMF estimate for nominal GDP for 2014 is $46.7bn, equivalent to a per capita GDP of around $11,348. The inflation rate for 2014 is estimated as being about 2.3 percent. The labour force is about 1.5m; in addition to around one million foreign workers that are estimated to be working in Lebanon.

    Banking is one of the main industries in Lebanon. Other major Lebanese industries include tourism, food processing, jewellery, cement, textiles, mineral and chemical products, wood and furniture products, oil refining and metal fabrication.

    There are currently 12 Lebanese banks that have a significant presence domestically or overseas, termed the ‘Alpha Banks’, with deposits of over $2bn. There are also 26 banks that are incorporated in Lebanon, and 12 foreign banks that have at least one office in the country. This banking infrastructure offers individuals and organisations seeking to invest in Lebanon strong comfort due to a reputation of integrity, professionalism and prudence and a good regulatory environment.
    How does it work?

    The central bank of Lebanon is officially named Banque du Liban (BDL). BDL was established on August 1, 1963 and became fully operational on April 1, 1964. One of BDL’s principal responsibilities is issuing Lebanon’s currency, the Lebanese pound. Other key responsibilities of the BDL include maintaining monetary stability, the regulation of money transfers, and – as one might expect – maintaining the soundness of the banking sector.
    Banque du Liban

    The Banque du Liban is responsible for maintaining monetary stability in Lebanon

    The BDL’s Central Council sets the bank’s monetary and credit policies, including money supply, and discount and lending rates. The Central Council is also responsible for key matters relating to the banking and financial industries, clearing houses, currency issuing and the approval or rejection of loan requests from public sector organisations. It also makes decisions about all the regulations and procedures that relate to the operations of the BDL and its staff, and on its overall financial probity, including its annual budget and accounts.

    The current Governor of BDL is Riad T Salameh. His ability to regulate the banking industry in Lebanon successfully and the high calibre of his international standing are factors that have played a major role in encouraging many foreign investors to invest in Lebanon.
    Why do I need to know?

    Today, there are many reasons to believe that a measured and strategic policy to invest in Lebanon offers exciting potential for profits. Lebanon’s economic growth rate in 2009 was about nine percent and around seven percent in 2010.
    Income tax in Lebanon
    For corporations
    Maximum tax rate for individuals with income above LBP 120m

    There are many key factors why so many organisations are excited about opportunities to invest in Lebanon. Some of these key factors are summarised here:

        Lebanon’s long cultural tradition as a centre for trade and enterprise
        The country’s tradition of running a competitive and free market regime
        The efficient, professional and highly experienced banking industry
        Effective and efficient banking legislation, especially on bank secrecy and the combat of money laundering
        High levels of Foreign Reserves at the BDL
        Lebanon’s location as a gateway to the Middle East
        An energetic, hard-working and literate population
        The absence of any US trade sanctions against the Lebanon Low rate of income tax: 15 percent for corporations and a progressive rate for individuals, reaching a maximum of 20 percent for individuals with income above LBP 120m ($79,602)
        Plans to engage in renewing and expanding infrastructure such as ports, roads, airport, telecommunications networks, and electricity delivery systems
        Several public and private partnership schemes that are potentially open to international investors
        The ease of incorporating a company in Lebanon and the absence of legal restrictions preventing foreigners from doing so

    Fuel oil electricity generating plant in the Lebanese coastal town of Zouk Michael, north of Beirut

    An oil plant in the Lebanese coastal town of Zouk Michael, north of Beirut. As part of the Levant Basic, Lebanon is located in an area containing around 1.7bn barrels of oil

    Lebanon also has substantial proven oil and gas reserves. The US Geological Survey has said that the Levant Basin, an area encompassing Israel, Syria, Lebanon, Cyprus and the Gaza Strip, contains about 122trn cubic feet of natural gas and at least 1.7bn barrels of oil. Exploitation of Lebanon’s share of this could greatly accelerate the pace of development of the Lebanese economy and is yet another reason why businesses would look to invest in Lebanon.
    Recent reforms

    According to the BDL, the Lebanese banking system has a number of key features that promote the role of Beirut as a regional financial centre, especially when it comes to ensuring that foreign capital and earnings are protected.

        There appears to be general agreement in the financial community that the BDL has been successful in shielding Lebanon from the global financial turmoil

    Free exchange system, free movement of capital
    The BDL pursues a policy of ensuring that the Lebanese pound is fully convertible and that it can be exchanged freely with any other currency. The BDL does not place any restrictions on the flow of capital and earnings into and out of Lebanon.

    The banking secrecy law
    A banking secrecy law, passed on September 3 1956, required all banks doing business in Lebanon, including foreign banks established there, to adhere to complete secrecy and confidentiality.

    Tax exemptions
    Both article 16 of law 282 dated December 30, 1993 and article 12 of decree 5451 dates August 26 1994, offer exemptions from income tax on all interest and revenues earned on all types of accounts opened in Lebanese banks.

    The free banking zone
    In April 1975, BDL, by decree 29, established a free banking zone. This involved granting the Lebanese government the right to make non residents’ deposits and liabilities in foreign currency exempt from income tax on interest earned. This decree can also grant exemption from the reserves requirement that have otherwise been imposed by the BDL by virtue of article 76 of the BDL’s Code of Money and Credit.

    There appears to be general agreement in the financial community that the BDL has been successful in shielding Lebanon from the global financial turmoil. In particular, Lebanese banks are highly liquid.

    The BDL Governor has stated that Lebanese banks will fully comply with Basel III recommendations three years ahead of the January 1, 2019 deadline. BDL has put the ratio to be achieved by the banking sector above the requirement set by Basel III, putting Lebanese banks among the highest in terms of capital adequacy.
    Industry expert

    BankMed is an expert in Lebanon’s banking, financial, economic, commercial and industrial environment. The bank is especially proud of the role it played in the reconstruction of Lebanon again after the end of the civil war. Its role here is widely regarded as a significant one.

        Today, BankMed has international presence in Cyprus, Switzerland, Turkey, Iraq and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

    Today, BankMed is regarded as one of the most professional, efficient and forward-thinking banks operating in Lebanon and a major resource for those who wish to invest in the country. It began operations as a corporate bank but has expanded its banking services to embrace retail banking, private banking, commercial and investment banking and brokerage services. Today, it has international presence in Cyprus, Switzerland, Turkey, Iraq and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA).
    Geneva, Switzerland

    In addition to its branches in Lebanon, BankMed also has a strong international presence, including branches in Geneva, Switzerland

    For any organization or individual, whether based in Lebanon or abroad, that wants to invest in Lebanon, BankMed offers a comprehensive, highly knowledgeable, hands-on, personalised service that brings its expertise and know-how.

    Mohammed Hariri, Chairman and General Manager of BankMed said that the Bank has now embarked on a solid and decisive path to solidify its position at home and to expand its presence abroad. He emphasized that as one of the top banks in Lebanon, it looks forward to growing further, by doing what it does best: providing the very highest standard of banking services to its customers.

    Chairman Hariri also stressed BankMed’s market leadership, and the fact that it is providing funding today to most of the top corporate groups in Lebanon. He also pointed out that over the past four years the Bank has focused concertedly on expanding and strengthening its retail and investment banking businesses, as well as its treasury and investment products.

    BankMed’s brokerage arm has grown into one of the most active players in the Lebanese market – offering customers a strong variety of innovative tailor-made and off-the-shelf investment products – at a time when most financial markets around the globe suffered major losses.

    In addition, Chairman Hariri pointed to BankMed’s success in customer service, which he substantially ascribed to the Bank continuously developing new products and services that meet the dynamics of market conditions and the stringent requirements of customer needs.
    Case study
    BankMed by numbers
    BankMed’s total assets (2012)

    Headquartered in Beirut, BankMed is one of the top five banks in Lebanon. Established in 1944, its market share – measured by total assets – has grown over the years to comprise around 10 percent of the total of the Lebanese banking system today.

    BankMed’s net profits increased by 11.3 percent by the end of 2011, to reach $117.5m, compared with $105.6m in 2010. BankMed achieved net profits of $29m in the first quarter of 2012, an increase of 13.9 percent compared with the same period in 2011. At the end of the first quarter of 2012, BankMed’s total assets stood at $13.60bn, while customer deposits reached $11.12bn.

    BankMed has a very strong Corporate Social Responsibility program and plays a growing role within Lebanon in community development. BankMed, through its branches in the Lebanon and abroad, offers a wide range of products and quality services both to individuals and corporations. BankMed has a private bank in Geneva, Switzerland, BankMed Suisse, which is engaged in asset management and advisory banking services. It also has a regional presence in Turkey, where it has been active since 2007, when it bought a subsidiary commercial bank, T-Bank.

    In 2008 BankMed launched the SaudiMed Investment Company, which provides corporate advisory and investment services to customers in the Kingdom and elsewhere in Middle East. The last two additions to the international network are the BankMed branches in Baghdad and Erbil.
    Beirut at sunset

    BankMed’s headquarters are based in Beirut, Lebanon’s vibrant capital city

    Unlike some banks that only offer services to a limited range of clients, BankMed caters for the widest breadth of clients, including individuals, large corporate clients as well as small and medium-sized enterprises. BankMed excels in its commercial lending portfolio: it has one of the largest such portfolios in the Lebanese banking market and the portfolio includes leading corporate clients across most commercial and industrial sectors. Despite the regional turmoil and its financial consequences, BankMed’s commercial lending portfolio witnessed considerable growth in 2011, achieving an average growth in its loan portfolio of 25 percent.

    BankMed’s strategy going forward is to further expand its client base, as it intends to take advantage of new technologies in order to better serve them, and as such BankMed is certain that its strong performance will continue in the upcoming years. BankMed, today, is an indispensable expert and a reliable partner for any individual or organisation that seeks profitably to invest in Lebanon.


  • Investing in Iran? Frontier Market Opens Up



    Although investing in Iranian funds is broadly prohibited for US investors, for Europeans, it can be done—within limits—following the lifting on Jan. 16 of nuclear-related sanctions imposed on Iran by an international coalition.
    And the strong showing of Iranian moderates in national elections last month may encourage further interest in the country.
    Iran has a large, diversified economy and a stock market, and there are new funds that allow some global investors to put their money there, reads an article in The Wall Street Journal.
    However, American individuals and entities are still prohibited from nearly all dealings with Iran, with limited exceptions such as the export of food and medicine to the country. That’s because of US sanctions still in place.
    European investors have a much freer hand, but they need to be wary of some remaining European Union sanctions. In addition, even people who are not American citizens or living in the US are subject to certain remaining US sanctions—for example, prohibitions against dealings with designated Iranian individuals and entities.

      A New Fund
    In anticipation of greater international interest in Iranian stocks, the Turquoise Variable Capital Investment Fund was launched in December. Jointly managed by Turquoise Partners, an Iranian financial group, and London-based Charlemagne Capital, the open-ended fund invests predominantly in Iranian stocks, and is aimed at all non-US investors.
    It has about $55 million in assets and its holdings include some locally listed corporate bonds, but its long-term goal is to hold only equities.
    “Most of the money in the fund was transferred from a similar fund that Turquoise Partners ran on its own for 10 years. There has not been enough time since the lifting of the nuclear-related sanctions for the fund to see significant inflows in reaction,” says Dominic Bokor-Ingram, Charlemagne Capital’s portfolio adviser for frontier markets.
    Bokor-Ingram noted that Iran’s established stock exchange gives it an advantage over other frontier markets for investors.
    “If you look at the biggest frontier, emerging-market opportunities right now that people quote—Cuba, Ethiopia, Myanmar—the difference in Iran is that you have a big, functioning stock market and a very big economy of approximately $400 billion,” he said.
      Iran’s Increasing Wealth
    The portfolio adviser noted that the fund is seeking to tap into Iran’s consumer market, with sectors like banking, telecommunications, healthcare, housing and e-commerce prominent among its holdings—“anything that’s geared to that domestic economy and the increasing wealth of the population.”
    Bokor-Ingram said there is “almost zero foreign investment” in Iranian stocks. But he says there has been an increase in expressions of interest in the new fund from potential investors and he expects investment in the fund to pick up in the coming months.
    Turquoise Partners’ CEO Ramin Rabii said that over the past 18 months, he has hosted more than 150 delegations of foreign investors, ranging in size from two or three people and up to 30 or 40.
    Most of these were from European countries, he said, though there were others from countries in the region such as Turkey and the UAE.
    Turquoise also runs an exchange-traded fund, the Turquoise TSE 30 Iran Index ETF, which tracks the 30 largest companies on Tehran Stock Exchange. It is targeted at small, individual investors, Rabii says, and has seen interest from investors in the region, as well as some in East Asia and Russia. It has assets of about $3 million.
    Rabii says Iran is similar to Turkey in a number of ways, such as population size, but that while foreign investors are major players in Turkish stocks, “in Iran it’s less than half a percent. That just shows you the potential of foreign investment that can come to Iran.”
    But much has to change before Iran can reach that potential. For instance, Rabii notes, many Iranian companies publish their financial statements only in Persian.
    Still, other funds are testing the waters, too.
    London-based Sturgeon Capital, in a partnership with Iranian brokerage firm Mofid Securities, launched a hedge fund in December that invests in companies listed in Iran, though it could broaden its portfolio to include the shares of companies outside the country that do business there. It currently has less than $10 million in assets.
    Sturgeon Capital’s CEO, Clemente Cappello, said he aims to target Iranian companies that have the potential to export to the company’s middle-income neighbors—such as Turkmenistan and Iraq—and highlights the glassmaking sector as having strong potential in this regard.
    Cappello says he does not expect a rush of investment in the fund soon. And on a broader scale he expects many banks to remain cautious for the foreseeable future about handling the transfer of investors’ money into and out of Iran.
    That point is echoed by Daniel Martin, a partner at Holman Fenwick Willan, a London law firm with a focus on international commerce.
    “I think anyone who is looking to persuade a bank or financial institution to make a payment into Iran or receive payment out of Iran is finding it difficult at the moment to identify financial institutions that will support those transactions,” he said.
    In a recent note, Renaissance Capital’s head of equity strategy, Daniel Salter, pointed to a number of challenges in the Iranian market, including a lack of updated economic statistics, and a trading week that runs from Saturday to Wednesday.

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

Investment Consulting &Project Finance


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