World  Business and Economic Analysis 

Investment,

  • Investment Immigration Summit

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    World Business Year Investment &Consultancy pleased to inform that become Media partner with Innoverto to promote  Investment Immigration Summit MENA is the largest investment immigration conference in the region attracting 250+ attendees from 20+ countries.

    World Business Year Talks withMarie-Louise Adlercreutz Co-Founder & Managing Partner at Innoverto to get more details of Event.

     

    INNOVERTO is a training solutions and events management company that offers not just an avenue for knowledge and development, but also one for change. Whether you want to train yourself or your team, generate new business, entertain your team and your clients, at Innoverto you will find solutions that are informative, efficient and meticulously planned.

     



    What is your purpose of your event?

    The 4th Annual Investment Immigration Summit MENA (IIS MENA) on 25-27 February 2018 in Dubai, brings together leading government officials and immigration industry specialists to compare and explore new and emerging Opportunities for MENA's HNWI to invest and migrate through the world's top citizenship by investment programmes.  
    This Summit is organized for experts focusing on the immigration market in the Middle East and North Africa, or agents or individuals wanting to learn more about the available international opportunities for citizen investment programmes.

    Which companies will take part in your event?

    There are many big companies take part in our event including
    Focus Canada Immigration Inc, Control Risks, Investment Migration Council ,Carlyle Rogers Legal Consultants FZE (UAE) ,US Tax and Financial Services ,International Fiscal Services SOAS ,University of London, Azure Consultants DMCC ,E & S Consultancy Vanuatu Information Centre, Orbit Law, PLLC Maisto e Associate,

    ANZ Migration, Azarmehr Law Group , Citizenship by Investment Unit, Saint Lucia (CIP Saint Lucia), Thomson Reuters Special Services , M/Advocates of Law



    Why attend?
    •    Gain hands-on practical skills for making successful applications: Take advantage of our interactive workshops, open discussion panels, industry lead round tables and extended Q and A.
    •    Keep up to speed with industry developments to identify the most suitable programme to meet your clients requirements: Gain crucial insight into what to expect from each application process, from minimum investment and property development opportunities through to processing times and benefits.
    •    Walk away with a 360 degree view of investment options: Identify regional possibilities for investment to help guide and inform your client’s application, with contributions on our geographically focused panels along with dedicated sessions delivered by seasoned industry specialists.



    Who should attend?
    IMMIGRATION AGENTS & HNWI
    Whether you’re keeping up to speed with international developments for yourself or for a client, join us for the most comprehensive CI gathering that offers an unbiased analyses of the available options and the requirements differentiating each.
    GOVERNMENTS
    Are you a government looking to establish a citizen investment programme? Or, are you exploring ways to make your programme more attractive to investors?
    PROJECT DEVELOPERS
    Showcase your visa-approved investment opportunity, project or development in front of the world’s leading immigration professionals and representatives – all of which are seeking new partnership and business opportunities.



    http://www.innoverto.com/register/investmentimmigration/




  • Investment in Iran Includes Renewable Energy

    b_200_200_16777215_00_images_b8.jpgby:keith kohl


    Countries already vying for business in Iran's wind sector.

     




    Talk of investment in Iran more often than not is centered around its oil and gas sector—after all, the country has some of the highest reserves in the world, and is preparing to rejoin the market this year.

    But did you know Iran is also planning some major steps into the renewable energy market too?

    The Iranian government already has a project in the works: the 6th Development Plan lays the groundwork for installations of about 4,500 megawatts of wind energy and 500 megawatts of solar energy capacity.

    Just last week, a 250 kilowatt solar panel project was brought online, and as much as 15 gigawatts of energy capacity installations are being considered by the Renewable Energy Organization of Iran.

    The organization's Mostafa Rabie suggests, “Iran can supply over two-thirds of its energy through wind power. The long-term policy within the next decade... is to supply over 50% of required energy through... green technologies.”Iran Wind Power

    He does note, however, that investment in the sector is absolutely necessary before any of these goals can be achieved.

    To reach the required renewable capacity of 5000 megawatts, Rabie claims, will take $10 billion worth of investments. There are already more than 19 proposed projects that will cost $1.5 billion to move forward.

    Luckily, Iran already has a few parties interested in its renewable sector...

    Denmark is interested in exporting renewable technologies to Iran, especially wind power equipment. The country's Foreign Affairs Minister Kristian Jensen has said that such exports could grow by as much as $72 billion once sanctions on Iran are lifted.

    This may include wind-turbine manufacturing plants from which Danish companies can build and market their products in and out of Iran.

    India is another country ready to move into Iran's energy sector. The country's Suzlon Energy is a major global wind turbine supplier, and has expressed interest in building wind farms in Iran post-sanctions.

    Such projects may in fact find competition from German companies also looking to build in Iran. German Siemens has already signed a deal to invest in Iran's railways, and intends to also supply the country with wind turbine equipment.

    Iran has plenty of options when it comes to outside investments in its energy infrastructures, both fossil-fuel based and renewable.

    Only time will tell how many of these projects are actually brought to fruition.




  • Investment opportunities for foreign investor in petrochemical sector


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    Director of Production Control in Iran's National Petrochemical Company (NPC) Alimohammad Bossaqzadeh said that there are Investment opportunities for foreign investor in petrochemical sector .


    “Foreign investors have voiced readiness to back completion of petrochemical projects in Iran and related negotiations are taking place,” he added.
    According to the NPC director, the Iranian government prefers to attract the foreign finance in form of investments and via making joint venture with Iranian partners.
    The Islamic Republic drew up 30 new petrochemical projects to be implemented in the post-sanctions time, Marzieh Shahdaie, the managing director of NPC, said in an exclusive interview with the Tehran Times in January.
    Questioned about the status of Iran’s petrochemical sector for the attraction of foreign investment in the post-sanctions time, Shahdaie answered that foreign companies mainly from Europe and East Asia are seeking to make investment in the implementation of Iranian petrochemical projects now that the sanctions are being removed against the country.
    She mentioned Iran’s huge reserves of energy, its strategic location as well as domestic capabilities and expert manpower as the country’s advantages for the attraction of foreign investment.

  • Investment Opportunities in Small Scale Power Generation

     

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    Technical and economic benefits of distributed generation for the Ministry of Energy of Iran are obvious. Therefore, in order to decentralization of power generating units, improve network reliability and increase efficiency, "Development of distributed generation project" is planned. The policy of the project to increase power generation in distribution network is incentives facilities offering to private sector.  In this paper, the Ministry of Energy incentive policies are followed.
    Among the various technologies of distributed generation, due to higher generation and reduce gas consumption, combined heat and power (CHP) have more appropriate economic indicators and the willingness of the private sector to invest in this project is more.
    Therefore, we  present an overview of the investment opportunities, government incentives and expressing examples of combined heat and power(CHP) projects, to inform investors and to achieve purposes mentioned in this plan.


     

    Description of investment and government incentive policies
    Investment overview:
    Installation Combined heat and power generation (internal combustion engines, generators and heat recovery facilities).





             Components of investment cost    
        installation initial cost
        maintenance costs
        Personnel / oil filter / lost revenue due to generation interruption
       









     Government incentive policies



     

     The advantage of investment and economic indicators
    Most important advantages of investing in energy generation are Government support in providing free gas and guaranteed power purchase. The following components of income and investment cost of CHP generators have been described.
    Incomes:
     Sale of electricity to the grid (or sale to domestic consumption)
    Depending on the efficiency between 2.57 to 3.14 cent/kWh, Electric power generators purchased and the guaranteed purchase contract will be signed to 5 years. The invoice paid by Ministry of energy in less than 15 days.
    Gross income for 1 MW generator: 20,000 US$/month.


    Use of generator heat in production or in reduction fuel consumption:
    The use of generator heat utilizes based on potential region. Usually the heat generators used in the following processes:
        Production of carbon dioxide from the generator smoke (200 kg/hour  for 1 MW generator-price 114.28 US$/ton)
        Production of distilled water
        Cold production in absorption chiller and injection into the fridge (300 ton of refrigeration per 1 MW generator)
        Heat and carbon dioxide production and injected into greenhouses to accelerate growth.
        Hot water production for swimming pools and domestic consumption (70 cubic meters/hour per 1 MW generator)

     Sale Emission Right:
    According to the efficiency cogeneration generator, yearly 3000 tons of greenhouse gas emissions can be avoided per 1 MW installed capacity. According to Kyoto Protocol, the project as a friendly environment project registered, and based on Emission Right price in the global market (average price was  2 US$ in 2014, and Predicted be 5 to 10 US$ in 2015),is profitable up to 10 years.

    Costs:
    Initial costs:
        Generator and grid connection equipment: 600,000 US$/MW (Stock generator: 314,000 US$/MW and Used generator with guarantee: 200,000 $/MW)
    +The costs of heat recovery equipment+ Recovery of costs of land acquisition/ lease +the project registration fee as environmentally-friendly.
    Monthly costs:
        Fuel cost: 5,000 US$/MW (This cost is monthly statement and paid by TAVANIR, See the attached documentation)
        Oil and filter cost: 1,400 US$/MW
        Personnel costs (for the whole site): 3,000 US$ (This is not a separate cost for industrial sites)
    Estimation of costs and revenues of the CHP system for each project according to characteristics and potential of the site is a free service of Distribution Generation Development Center.










    Silencer units (reduction of noise up to 60 dB – equivalent to a car)




    Summary table of costs and benefits of 1 MW generator installation:

    Initial costs    Revenues
    New generator    Stock generator    Used generator with 6-month guarantee    Power generation    Using of heat
    600,000 US$    314,000 US$    200,000 US$    20,000 US$/month    Depending on the application of unit is variable
        Electric power generation revenue can be increased 50% by selling energy to commercial customers.
        With the increase in electricity tariffs in 1394, revenue will increase.

        period of return on investment (Month)
        With using heat of Generator    Without using heat of Generator
    Using the new equipment    20    32
    Using the Stock equipment    10    15
    Using the Used equipment    6    10

    For a Used 1 MW generator:

     






    Investment Process
     


    Conclusion and call for consultation
    Niroo Research Institute to facilitate investment in the development of CHP generators provides all services to small-scale plants investors with the aim of increasing penetration of combined heat and power generators, increasing efficiency and peak shaving of the Network.
        Issuance Agreement, construction and operation permit, obtaining permits and certificates, contract of guaranteed electric power purchasing.
        Coordinate the activity of attract participation units in regional electric companies and electrical distribution companies.
        Condition assessment tests, performance testing and Maintenance Planning.
    Free consultation services to investors in great Tehran:
        Feasibility consultation, technical-economic evaluation of projects, investment consulting.
        Finding the optimal place for generator installation and heat recovery.
        Introduction of qualified consultants and contractors to design and implementation of CHP units.









  • Iran is suitable country for foreign investments

     

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    Managing Director of Germany's Klifovet Pharmaceuticals Company Klaus Hellmann underlined that Iran is a suitable country with abundant capacities for foreign investment.
    'Given Iran's advances and scientific capacities, Iran has good capacities for investment,' Hellmann said Friday on the sidelines of the Third International Pharmaceuticals Congress hosted by Shahr-e Kord.

    He said that Iran has many capabilities and capacities for advancement and the papers that have been presented by Iranian researchers to this congress shows that the Iranian researchers are at a good scientific level.

    'There are many people in Germany who are willing to be present in Iran and they have scientific exchanges with Iranian researchers; we expect that these exchanges to be prepared more than any time before,' Hellmann added.

    He said that several joint ventures between Iran and German companies have taken place.

  • Iran Eyes $10b in Petchem Finances

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    Iran's petrochemical industry will most likely have attracted  10 billion dollars in foreign investments by the end of the current Iranian calendar to March 20, 2018, a senior oil official said.
    Amir Hossein Zamani Nia, Deputy petroleum minister in international affairs and trading, said to World Business Year  the fact that talks with several foreign investors are nearly complete, 10 billion dollars will be invested in petrochemical development projects by foreign financiers in Iran before the end of this calendar year.

    He predicted that the current calendar year  will be a booming year for the petrochemical sector of Iran, adding negotiations with foreign developers are on the go in all sectors of the oil industry including the petrochemical sector.
    A senior diplomat, Zamani Nia said the talks will, hopefully, lead to 50 to 80 billion dollars of investment in oil, gas and petrochemical projects in Iran.

    "Petrochemical industry is a popular sector in which return on investment is guaranteed and security of investment is one of its major features," he said.

  • Iran FDI booming,Investor flop into Iran

     

     Based on International reports Iran's FDI Increased in 2016.
    The Norwegian investors said in a meeting with Governor General of Gilan Province Mohammad Ali Najafi that Gilan has high potential in fisheries and they are hopeful of partnership in the fisheries and aquaculture industry.
    They said they are ready to invest 10,000 billion Rials investment in production of trawlers, small fishing boats and cages for fish culture through sophisticated technology.
    Najafi for his part said Gilan province is willing to benefit from experience of Norway in fish culture and seafood products.

     

  • Iran has one of the largest Islamic finance markets in the world.

     

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    By Sarah Townsend

    Despite the lifting of sanctions in January, many foreign companies remain so nervous about entering Iran that the country's leaders have asked the IMF to step in to reassure investors, proving that Iran has its work cut out if it is to be a significant player in the international economy


    Last month, Iranian financial institutions gathered in Muscat to set out their case for the Gulf and beyond to invest in post-sanctions Iran.

    The newly-opened country, they claimed, is among the most diversified economies in the Middle East and one of the most liquid. It also has the region’s largest Islamic finance sector, with an asset base worth $500bn, low corporation tax at 10 percent and relatively straightforward investment laws.

    The only thing holding it back, they argued, was a dearth of foreign investment due to restrictive sanctions imposed by the US and the European Union (EU) for the past decade and more.

    Now, following the lifting of sanctions in January, Iran is “open for business”, allegedly capable of attracting billions of dollars of trade and investment and rewarding pioneering global partners with substantial returns.

    In an interview with Arabian Business during the Muscat event, Tehran Stock Exchange CEO and president Hassan Ghalibaf Asl says: “Iran has good potential for growth but sanctions deprived it of this growth. They overheated the market and dampened foreign investment.

    “Still, under sanctions, the capital market performed reasonably well. We had monthly initial public offerings (IPOs) and were trading around $25bn every year, generating significant volumes. However, most of our investors are local. We do not yet benefit from considerable and material investment from foreign investors.

    “The ratio of market cap to GDP in Iran is 25-30 percent and the average in the world is 100 percent, which shows the opportunity for growth.

    “I believe with the lifting of sanctions the atmosphere will change and foreign investors will come in. I think what will be possible then.”

    According to Central Bank of Iran governor Valiollah Seif, the removal of sanctions could trigger at least $50bn a year in foreign investment. He told Bloomberg in January that GDP growth could accelerate to between 5 and 6 percent, from 3 percent, in the year to March 2017. Seif was also adamant that Iranian banks would reconnect to the world within days of sanctions being lifted following years of isolation.

    There have been indications that foreign companies are starting to enter Iran. For example, it was reported last week that Meliá Hotels International had signed to open its first hotel there, the five-star Gran Meliá Ghoo Hotel. UAE payments firm Network International has said it is in talks with Iranian banks to process transactions in Iran, while Oman’s Port of Salalah has reportedly signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Iranian ports to facilitate trade growth, and Bank Muscat aims to open an office in Tehran.

    Ghalibal Asl claims he saw interest among foreign investors rise tenfold in the 10 days after sanctions were lifted, while the ‘Big Four’ accountancy and professional services firms have said they are taking steps to set up operations in Iran to support clients eager to work there.

    However, experts say foreign business activity has remained largely subdued. Many argue that bureaucracy and residual political stigmas will make companies nervous about doing business in Iran.

    One real estate professional who wishes to remain anonymous says that even expat Iranians living elsewhere in the Middle East are reluctant to do business with Iran at present, citing lack of transparency.

    Within the country, confidence is waning. Last week, state news agency IRNA reported that Iran’s leaders had complained that European banks were wary of resuming business in the country and had asked the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to step in and allay prospective investors’ fears. IRNA quoted Hamid Tehranfar, vice-governor of the central bank, as saying: “There is still ‘Iranophobia’ in the banking sector that we’re trying to overcome.

    “We have asked the IMF to review our [banking sector] regulations so other countries’ banks feel reassured. The IMF will announce its assessment in 2018.”

    On the surface, the case for investing in post-sanctions Iran is compelling. It is the second largest economy in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region after Saudi Arabia, with an estimated GDP of $406.3bn, according to the World Bank. It also has the second largest population of the region after Egypt, with an estimated 78.5 million people in 2014. Iran is home to some of the world’s largest fossil fuel reserves, with oil production constituting 23 percent of the country’s wealth.

    While government expenditure still depends to a large extent on oil revenues and therefore remains vulnerable, Iran is a more diversified economy than some of its neighbours. For example, services (professional, specialised, real estate and hospitality in particular) account for 51 percent of GDP, while manufacturing and mining makes up 13 percent, according to Trade Economics.

    Meanwhile, the World Bank’s outlook for Iran is positive. The bank’s country update from September 2015 stated: “If all sanctions are lifted by March-June 2016, and reforms to the business environment are made to promote competition and reduce the influence of state-owned enterprises in the economy, real GDP should rise to 5.8 percent and 6.7 percent in 2016 and 2017 respectively, as oil production reaches 3.6 and 4.2 million barrels per day.”

    However, despite this forecast, businesses and commentators remain wary, with some claiming it will be at least a year before global banks and multinational corporations dip their toes in the water.

    “The media gave the impression that as a result of the agreement with Iran, the doors were wide open and it was back to business as usual,” says Nicholas Coward, attorney at law firm Baker & McKenzie.

    “There was an assumption that a sort of nirvana had arrived, but it has not. While numerous sanctions have been lifted and there are opportunities as a result, other sanctions remain in place.

    “The two words that best characterise the current situation are ‘balance’ and ‘caution’. Balance in terms of the government approach to maintaining remaining sanctions and balance from companies in terms of their cognisance of the things they can and cannot do, and how to police that internally.

    “We don’t know any major international bank that has said they want to enter Iran and we anticipate it will be at least a year before this happens. Some may wait to see if their competitors do it first, while others may stay out of the market altogether deeming the risks to be too great.”

    As Coward notes, not all of the restrictions have been lifted and companies are worried about breaching those that remain in place. In January, the US and EU lifted most sanctions on Iran in return for curbs on its nuclear programme. Under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the EU de-listed over 400 blackmarked Iranian people and entities, allowing them to do business with the EU. Certain entities and individuals, including several Iranian banks, remain blacklisted.

    However, most of the remaining restrictions relate to a larger number of continuing US sanctions. Although the US has lifted the sanctions that in effect prevented international banks from facilitating Iran-related transactions, those sanctions were generally only directed towards non-US citizens conducting business that occurs entirely outside of US jurisdiction and does not involve US citizens.

    The remaining sanctions still prohibit involvement of US citizens, US-originating products and supplies exported or re-exported to Iran, and most transactions conducted in US dollars, largely ruling out US banks from doing business with Iran. The sanctions also penalise those who do business with companies connected to Iran’s Revolutionary Guard (IRGC), whcih is accused of having opaque business interests, according to the Financial Times, because the US still considers Iran to be supporting “terrorism”.

    It is a much reduced list of sanctions, says Baker & McKenzie partner Jasper Helder, but one that could still cause headaches for prospective investors.

    “It is incredibly complex and businesses must do extensive due diligence,” he says. “That is why there was an initial high enthusiasm for opportunities in Iran (and there are real opportunities, in particular for Gulf countries that have historic trading ties and physical proximity).

    “But there are cautionary notes too. While Gulf investors themselves are not subject to any of the remaining US or EU sanctions, they must be mindful about whether or not they have US or European stakeholders, use products or services that they have acquired in those markets, or have US citizens anywhere in the supply chain.

    “They must also check thoroughly with their banks whether they are willing to support commercial activity in Iran.”

    Meanwhile, there are inherent issues with the regulatory landscape that can make doing business in Iran challenging, Helder claims. “It is a more bureaucratic country [than others in the Gulf], with lots of government agencies involved in policing the market. It is certainly not a market you could breeze into.”

    Helder says many of his clients also report difficulties in establishing exactly with who they would be doing business. “There are no systematic company records that allow you to check things like ownership structures, so relationships between companies and individuals are not always clear.”

    News last week that billionaire Iranian businessman Babak Zanjani has been sentenced to death for corruption for withholding billions in oil revenues channelled through his companies is unlikely to help improve public perceptions.

    Another concern is the “snap-back” provisions contained in the JCPOA. The EU and US have reserved the right to re-impose sanctions in the event that Iran is found to have violated its obligations under the agreement. “Investors would want to make sure that they protect themselves and their contract terms – crucially, payments – by having a well-considered exit strategy that does not rely upon conventional force majeure clauses, as those are typically triggered by unforeseen events and you could argue that a snap-back would not be covered,” Coward says.

    Ahmad Azizi, senior advisor to the central bank governor, told the Muscat conference: “While there are negative foreign perceptions of [doing business in] Iran, prospective investors must remember that Iran is a large, local market and one of the most diversified economies in the Middle East. Last year it exported every single category of goods as defined by the IMF – a rare attribute in the region.

    “Those concerned over the implications of the snap-back provisions contained in the deal should be reassured that the country worked hard to negotiate with the US and would not throw away its investment overnight.”

    Dr Moshkan Mashkour, a lawyer and director of the Tehran Regional Arbitration Centre, adds: “Snap-back is unlikely to happen because on both sides the ramifications are great and there is political will [for the agreement to work].

    “If any concerns are raised that there has been a serious breach of terms, there would be serious and lengthy discussions, which, if not resolved, would be passed to authorities, which would then seek to resolve the issue. So snap-back would not happen overnight.”

    He claims that, for example, if a European contractor had been appointed to build 250 kilometres of roads in Iran and snap-back was imposed while there were still 50km left to build, the investment would likely be legally protected under contract and the roads would continue to be built.

    Meanwhile, Iranian leaders and financial institutions claim to be working hard to increase trust among foreigners. IRNA quoted Iran’s deputy foreign minister, Majid Takhteravanchi, as saying this month: “There is no legal obstacle in the way of expansion of Iran-Europe relations”. He said the Iranian central bank was implementing new rules against money laundering and terrorism funding to facilitate ties with European banks.

    Central bank governor Seif added: “Transparency is the prerequisite of international transactions. Iran has taken primary steps to make the financial information of Iranian banks as transparent as possible.”

    Ghalibaf Asl from the Tehran Stock Exchange says the bourse is in the “late stages” of compiling a new index ranking companies according to their transparency and governance structures – a rare move for a stock exchange and one intended to boost confidence in Iranian capital markets.

    Other financial experts working in Iran note the attractive 0.5 percent tax rate on transfer of shares in Iranian stock exchanges, and tax exemption on interest received from fixed-income instruments and dividends received.

    Still, this does not cancel out some risks, including the potential impact of volatile regional politics. There are issues related to Iran’s involvement in Syria, which many argue is a major source of the refugee problem in Europe, so from a European perspective this connection is politically very significant and could deter some European companies from working with Iran.

    “The sanctions agreement alone is not some panacea,” Coward says. “It was a calculated effort to accomplish something in the nuclear arena, which was achieved, but it does not erase the other political challenges that exist in the region.”

    Iran’s 2025 strategic economic plan aimed at doubling the economy from the current $415bn in the next decade requires investments totalling $1.5tr, according to a report by Frost & Sullivan this month.

    This is a colossal amount of money, so Iran must freshen up its business environment and public image to attract those companies whose hands are not still tied by prohibitive sanctions – or risk losing out.
    2013 Arabian Business Publishing Ltd. All rights reserved.

  • Iran has taken significant steps to counter money laundering: fin. min.

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    Iranian Finance and Economic Affairs Minister Farhad Dejpasand said on Monday that Iran has taken very effective and practical measures for countering money laundering and cooperation with Financial Action Task Force (FATF).

    Dejpasand made the remarks in a meeting with ambassadors and representatives of some Asian and European countries in Tehran, IRNA reported.

    Iran’s high council for the prevention of money laundering and terrorism financing convenes regularly under the chairmanship of the economy minister and many government agencies are members of this council, according to Dejpasand.

    The official stated that the country’s anti-money laundering code has been passed by the government and is currently being implemented.

    “The code is in complete compliance with international standards and it also fully covers the country's needs,” he stressed.

    Back in October, spokesman for the Iranian government Ali Rabiei had announced that the government was planning to form specialized anti-money laundering working groups to intensify the country’s campaign against financing terrorism.

    “The entire executive bodies, including Interior Ministry, Trade Ministry, Foreign Ministry, Justice Ministry, Police, Iran Custom Administration, Central Bank of Iran (CBI) and intelligence and security bodies are duty bounded to prepare required information and data for the specialized working groups,” Rabiei stated.  

    Later that month, Central Bank of Iran also obliged all the country’s banks and credit institutions to establish anti-money laundering units.

    At the beginning of the current year, the Expediency Council gave approval to an anti-money laundering bill seen as crucial to maintaining international trade and banking ties.

    The bill on amending the law to counter money laundering was approved with certain changes and sent to the Majlis speaker to be communicated to the government.
    The Expediency Council settles disputes between parliament, which approved the bill last year, and the Guardian Council, which vets all legislation and had rejected it.

     

  • Iran Opening Up: Promises and Pitfalls

     

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    If there is a seat left in business class on a flight to Tehran, you might be hard pushed to find it. Ever since Iran signed its nuclear accord in January lifting longstanding sanctions, businesspeople of every kind have been making their way to the country in the hope of clinching a deal.
    Iran’s main industries have suffered from underinvestment, its consumers have been starved of choice and billions frozen in overseas accounts are in the process of being released.
    The country’s reintegration with the international community is well underway and with it comes a drive to return the country’s business activity to a state of normality, whether it be the strategic industries like oil and gas, or consumer retail, Gavin Hinks wrote for the UK-based magazine Financial Director.
    Jan Ward, chief executive of Corrotherm International, a former exporter of specialist piping to the energy sector in Iran, tells Financial Director: “I’ve been waiting for them to remove the sanctions … I absolutely love going there.”

      Under Starter’s Orders
    From news reports however, it’s obvious that many companies did not wait for the ink to dry on the final settlement. In anticipation of an agreement, many had clearly been in Iran to negotiate well ahead of the diplomats.
    Within days of the agreement being signed, Airbus finalized the sale of 118 planes to Iran Air worth $27 billion. Though conditional on obtaining US export licenses (10% of Airbus parts are made in the US), the deal will see Airbus build 73 wide-body jets and 45 narrow-body planes for Iran, which will also take delivery of several A380s, the world’s largest jet aircraft. More importantly though for Airbus, they have beaten Boeing to the line in helping Iran rebuild its raging passenger aircraft fleet.
    Elsewhere, President Hassan Rouhani forged a deal with Italian metals producer Danieli, reportedly worth $5.7 billion, to produce steel and aluminum for machines and equipment.
    A few days later, Japan and Iran sealed an “investment pact” intended to give Japanese investors the edge when it comes to providing capital for Iranian projects.
    For British exporters, however, there’s one important point to note. None of the high-profile deals announced were with British companies.
    “The big thing is to get out there and meet the people. You’ve got to find a partner. The Germans, French and Italians are out there in their hordes,” says Ward.

      Reasons
    And why wouldn’t they be? Iran is a country of about 80 million people with a GDP of $406.3 billion, making it the second largest economy in the Middle East.
    President Rouhani’s reforms have also seen the country turn a corner after two years of recession: 2014, according to the World Bank, saw the economy grow by 3%, with many, including the Institute of International Finance, expecting 2015 to see growth of about 6%.
    The World Bank reckons on 5.8% this year and 6.7% for 2017. These figures though are predicated on transformation, once the sanctions are lifted.
    Inflation is also down from an eye-watering 45% in 2012 to 15.6% as of July last year. Unemployment, however, has proved difficult to budge and remains around 11%.
    In September last year, the World Bank wrote: “Reforms to the business environment to promote competition, rationalize licensing and authorization requirements, reduce the imprint of state-owned enterprises in the economy and improve the health of the financial and banking sector are needed to accelerate growth and private-sector led job creation.”
    Yes, there is a job of work to be but the population is well educated and young, with some estimates placing 65% under 35.

      Banking
    Sanam Vakil, associate fellow at international affairs think tank Chatham House, has some good news for UK businesses. She says no one country is going to monopolize business in Iran, as the deals publicized so far have proved.
    “It’s been much easier to do deals with the Italians, French and Germans who have longer standing relations and remained active in the region regardless of sanctions,” she says.
    But Vakil adds the “onus” is on the British to move things forward more quickly. She observes the British Embassy has been slow to reopen in Tehran.
    However, the British have moved swiftly in one area–Iranian banking—an essential issue for exporters.
    The whole sector is one where many outstanding issues need to be resolved, according to Vakil.
    However, three UK subsidiaries of Iranian banks–Persia International Bank, Melli Bank and Bank Sepal International–have already received regulatory approval to go back to work after being helped by the startup banking unit of the Prudential Regulatory Authority.
    This is timely, because a report from professional services firm Mazars published in January highlighted key areas for improvement following a survey of financial reporting at nine Iranian banks.
    Mazars concluded the sanctions had left “deep scars”. Iranian banks are yet to adopt Basel I and II, “let alone Basel III”, says the report. IT and cyber security “are in their infancy. Corporate governance needs revision to meet international best practice,” says the report, and “international-accepted accounting and reporting standards need to be implemented”.
    Greg Simpson, head of UK banking audit at Mazars, says International Financial Reporting Standards will become applicable for listed Iranian banks from 2016, though not all banks are listed. He insists, however, that there is a “strong willingness” to adopt greater transparency.
    The fact that UK subsidiaries have been reactivated by regulators demonstrates they have “adequate capital and liquidity to satisfy regulatory requirements”, according to Simpson.
    He adds: “One of the main impediments to resuming normal trading is establishing correspondent relationships with international banks. However, recent announcements by Dr. Valiollah Seif, the governor of the Central Bank of Iran, indicate there is an increasing desire by international counterparts to facilitate trade relations.

      Frontiers
    Strong institutions will be essential to the reform and reintegration of Iran and the country is not short of them. In fact, Vakil notes the country may have so many that decision-making on issues like petroleum contracts are slow and uncertain.
    It’s a point echoed by Hassan Hakimian, director of the London Middle East Institute at SOAS, who recently wrote that Iran’s “complex post-revolutionary institutional architecture, which is beset by a labyrinth of decision-making entities interlaced with yet more bodies and agencies created to ensure compliance with Islamic tenets and revolutionary standards”, is one of the key challenges in reforming the country.
    That said, Hakimian is optimistic that trade can be done, referring to Iran as a “frontier market”.
    “When you think about it, Iran is one of the few countries where you don’t face a big US competitor,” he tells Financial Director.
    “There are opportunities in consumer goods, the energy sector and in replacing the country’s infrastructure.”
    According to Hakimian, the big risk in Iran is President Rouhani’s ability to deliver on expectations of economic improvement, the basis on which he was elected and the reason for recent success in parliamentary polling. He faces presidential elections in 2017 with victory critical if Iran is to maintain certainty around its current path.
    “There’s no market with no risk whatsoever,” he concluded.

  • Iran to inaugurate 15 new petrochemical projects by 2017

    b_200_200_16777215_00_images_b9.jpg

    Iran will inaugurate 15 new petrochemical  projects by March 2017.


    Marzieh Shahdaee, Director of the National Iranian Petrochemical Company’s plans, said this will boost the country’s petrochemical capacity by ۸.۵ million metric tons.

    “There are 60 petrochemical plans underway in the country, " she said, adding that plans which are over 60 percent complete are main priority. She said the mentioned plans require $33.4 billion worth of investment to come on stream.

    Seven petrochemical units, with a total capacity of 2.7 million tons, will come on stream by March 2016, she added.

    The country has exported some 12 million metric tons of petrochemicals so far.
    Iran plans to increase the number of its petrochemical units to 100 and the value of petrochemical exports to $70 billion over the course of 10 years, he said.

    Iran’s petrochemical output has exceeded 40 million metric tons since the beginning of 2014.

  • Iran welcomes boosting trade with EU


    b_200_200_16777215_00_images_lady_business_rev.jpg


    By Mahnaz Abdi

    Iran welcomes boosting trade ties with the European Union in a way that European investors could take advantage of unique opportunities in Iran and Iran’s economy could accelerate the process of its growth and development, according to Central Bank of Iran (CBI) Governor Valiollah Seif.



    Seif made the remarks in “The 2nd Business and Banking Forum Iran Europe” which kicked off in Tehran on Saturday and will run until Monday.

     

    In January world powers led by the United States and the European Union lifted sanctions on Iran which had been imposed over its nuclear program. The subsequent leap in Tehran’s stock market in late January and early February gave a hint of the country’s investment potential.



    The lifting of sanctions opens a new chapter of economic development and put the country’s potentialities into practice, Seif added.



    The ground is laid for more security of foreign investment in the country and also for more economic sustainability, he maintained.



    Iranian economy enjoys great advantages such as educated and expert manpower, huge natural resources, cheap price of energy, big market inside the country and also access to the regional markets, the official highlighted.



    “I hereby invite all European investors, service institutes and also banks to take the advantage of unique opportunities created in Iran in the post-sanctions time”, the CBI’s governor stated.



    He also said that all Iranian banks are now connected to the SWIFT international payment system.



    ---- 2016 economic growth above 5 percent



    Elsewhere in his remarks, Seif said that Iran’s economy is expected to witness an economic growth of more than five percent in 2016.



    “Economic growth slowed down in 2015 but domestic and international predictions both indicate that growth in 2016 would be beyond 5 percent,” he added.



    *** European banks should avoid conservatism



    Addressing the same forum, Mohammad Khazaei, the Iranian deputy economy minister and also the president of the Organization for Investment, Economic, and Technical Assistance of Iran, said: “Let me be honest with you, I see some conservative approaches from European banks to work with Iranian banks. I would like to make it clear here that conservatism is the big enemy of taking advantages in Iran’s market.”



    Banks are the routes of collaboration, transferring money, so any problem in this area of course is a big obstacle in the way of cooperation, the official stated.



    He went on to say: ”Because Iranian banking system and Iranian businessmen have been away from their traditional counterparts [during the sanctions times]; therefore we need to get together again and know how the banks can get together and there are many issues that we should solve and then we can also move.”



    Elsewhere in his remarks, Khazaei said Iranian government has adopted policies to support foreign investment especially in the fields which bring value added, such as transfer of technology and increase of exports.



    He mentioned facilitation of investment making through cutting some administrative and trade barriers as one of the mentioned policies.



    Iran will take the same approach toward the foreign investors as that towards the Iranian ones; the official stated, adding: “Based on the law, your investment in banking sector in Iran is protected and guaranteed by the laws, so there is no impediment or problem to work in this area.”



    The foreign banks and investors will be granted tax exemption of 20 percent in the mainland and 100 percent in the FTZs of Iran, he announced.



    *** ‘New, big opportunities in Iran by sanctions removal’



    Matthias Machnig, the state secretary at Germany’s Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy, was the other speaker in the forum.



    He said: “Now by lifting of sanctions there are new and big opportunities. It is very crucial that in these conferences we talk together to build up trust. I hope this conference will build up new relations and we will be able to define projects where we can work together and can build new basis for our economic and political relations.”



    “We want your country being a constructive partner, not only in this region, but also in the international level and hopefully we are able to take this opportunity and find new ground for a common work together”, he added.



    European and Iranian companies now want to take advantage of the resulting opportunity as quickly as possible, Machnig said; adding there are a lot of opportunities for long-term partnership which can benefit both sides.



    *** Views of some foreign participants



    One of the participants in the forum, Sonke Reimers, the managing director of Germany’s dfv media group, told the Tehran Times: “I think it is a very important forum, to bring together the experts from banking industry.”



    Referring to the sanctions removal, he said: “I think it’s the time to come back to the table.”



    “The world has changed since the sanctions were put in place, so there are a lot of technical and other issues we should understand. We should understand what’s going on in Iran and I think you should understand what’s going on in Europe”, he stated.



    “We had a huge financial crisis in Europe and since then regulations came in place which are even worse than sanctions, so the world of banking and finance is very different if you come to Europe now, from before the sanctions”, he added.



    “There are many opportunities and now it’s the time to take the opportunities. There are regulations in Iran that the German companies should know”, said Michael R. Fausel from Beiten Burkhardt, a commercial law practice founded in Germany and active worldwide.



    “The conference shows that Iran is open for business, is keen to reconnect to the global banking and financial system. I think this conference is very positive for Iran and also more importantly very positive for Europe and the rest of world”, said William Breeze, an energy finance expert in Britain’s Herbert Smith Freehills, one of the world’s leading law firms.



    “The reason for taking a conservative approach toward cooperating with Iranian banks is that European banks are concern about what America would think. I Think and hope that European banks can seek quite what a large opportunity Iran offers and realize that it’s an opportunity that we take and European banks should reengage as quickly as possible”, he noted.



    “The forum is important for passing information, for being able to bring together the global institutions and Iranian institutions, so we understand how we can work closely together”, said Charles Blackmore , the CEO of Britain’s Audere International Ltd.



    He said: “European banks are conservative because the primary sanctions are still in place. They have been fined many times by the Americans and they are nervous, they want to know, make sure that who they are working with. When they know who they are working with, then they can upset the American sanctions and they will be more relax about releasing money. But also you got to remember that Iran is one country of the whole world and there are many opportunities for finance, so we must evaluate the risks.”












     

  • Iran welcomes boosting trade with EU




    b_200_200_16777215_00_images_lady_business_rev.jpg

    Iran welcomes boosting trade ties with the European Union in a way that European investors could take advantage of unique opportunities in Iran and Iran’s economy could accelerate the process of its growth and development, according to Central Bank of Iran (CBI) Governor Valiollah Seif.



    Seif made the remarks in “The 2nd Business and Banking Forum Iran Europe” which kicked off in Tehran on Saturday and will run until Monday.

     

    In January world powers led by the United States and the European Union lifted sanctions on Iran which had been imposed over its nuclear program. The subsequent leap in Tehran’s stock market in late January and early February gave a hint of the country’s investment potential.



    The lifting of sanctions opens a new chapter of economic development and put the country’s potentialities into practice, Seif added.



    The ground is laid for more security of foreign investment in the country and also for more economic sustainability, he maintained.



    Iranian economy enjoys great advantages such as educated and expert manpower, huge natural resources, cheap price of energy, big market inside the country and also access to the regional markets, the official highlighted.



    “I hereby invite all European investors, service institutes and also banks to take the advantage of unique opportunities created in Iran in the post-sanctions time”, the CBI’s governor stated.



    He also said that all Iranian banks are now connected to the SWIFT international payment system.



    ---- 2016 economic growth above 5 percent



    Elsewhere in his remarks, Seif said that Iran’s economy is expected to witness an economic growth of more than five percent in 2016.



    “Economic growth slowed down in 2015 but domestic and international predictions both indicate that growth in 2016 would be beyond 5 percent,” he added.



    *** European banks should avoid conservatism



    Addressing the same forum, Mohammad Khazaei, the Iranian deputy economy minister and also the president of the Organization for Investment, Economic, and Technical Assistance of Iran, said: “Let me be honest with you, I see some conservative approaches from European banks to work with Iranian banks. I would like to make it clear here that conservatism is the big enemy of taking advantages in Iran’s market.”



    Banks are the routes of collaboration, transferring money, so any problem in this area of course is a big obstacle in the way of cooperation, the official stated.



    He went on to say: ”Because Iranian banking system and Iranian businessmen have been away from their traditional counterparts [during the sanctions times]; therefore we need to get together again and know how the banks can get together and there are many issues that we should solve and then we can also move.”



    Elsewhere in his remarks, Khazaei said Iranian government has adopted policies to support foreign investment especially in the fields which bring value added, such as transfer of technology and increase of exports.



    He mentioned facilitation of investment making through cutting some administrative and trade barriers as one of the mentioned policies.



    Iran will take the same approach toward the foreign investors as that towards the Iranian ones; the official stated, adding: “Based on the law, your investment in banking sector in Iran is protected and guaranteed by the laws, so there is no impediment or problem to work in this area.”



    The foreign banks and investors will be granted tax exemption of 20 percent in the mainland and 100 percent in the FTZs of Iran, he announced.



    *** ‘New, big opportunities in Iran by sanctions removal’



    Matthias Machnig, the state secretary at Germany’s Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy, was the other speaker in the forum.



    He said: “Now by lifting of sanctions there are new and big opportunities. It is very crucial that in these conferences we talk together to build up trust. I hope this conference will build up new relations and we will be able to define projects where we can work together and can build new basis for our economic and political relations.”



    “We want your country being a constructive partner, not only in this region, but also in the international level and hopefully we are able to take this opportunity and find new ground for a common work together”, he added.



    European and Iranian companies now want to take advantage of the resulting opportunity as quickly as possible, Machnig said; adding there are a lot of opportunities for long-term partnership which can benefit both sides.



    *** Views of some foreign participants



    One of the participants in the forum, Sonke Reimers, the managing director of Germany’s dfv media group, told the Tehran Times: “I think it is a very important forum, to bring together the experts from banking industry.”



    Referring to the sanctions removal, he said: “I think it’s the time to come back to the table.”



    “The world has changed since the sanctions were put in place, so there are a lot of technical and other issues we should understand. We should understand what’s going on in Iran and I think you should understand what’s going on in Europe”, he stated.



    “We had a huge financial crisis in Europe and since then regulations came in place which are even worse than sanctions, so the world of banking and finance is very different if you come to Europe now, from before the sanctions”, he added.



    “There are many opportunities and now it’s the time to take the opportunities. There are regulations in Iran that the German companies should know”, said Michael R. Fausel from Beiten Burkhardt, a commercial law practice founded in Germany and active worldwide.



    “The conference shows that Iran is open for business, is keen to reconnect to the global banking and financial system. I think this conference is very positive for Iran and also more importantly very positive for Europe and the rest of world”, said William Breeze, an energy finance expert in Britain’s Herbert Smith Freehills, one of the world’s leading law firms.



    “The reason for taking a conservative approach toward cooperating with Iranian banks is that European banks are concern about what America would think. I Think and hope that European banks can seek quite what a large opportunity Iran offers and realize that it’s an opportunity that we take and European banks should reengage as quickly as possible”, he noted.



    “The forum is important for passing information, for being able to bring together the global institutions and Iranian institutions, so we understand how we can work closely together”, said Charles Blackmore , the CEO of Britain’s Audere International Ltd.



    He said: “European banks are conservative because the primary sanctions are still in place. They have been fined many times by the Americans and they are nervous, they want to know, make sure that who they are working with. When they know who they are working with, then they can upset the American sanctions and they will be more relax about releasing money. But also you got to remember that Iran is one country of the whole world and there are many opportunities for finance, so we must evaluate the risks.”







    CAP: Central Bank of Iran Governor Valiollah Seif speaking in “The 2nd Business and Banking Forum Iran Europe” in Tehran on Saturday

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  • Iran-Turkey coop. strengthens regional stability

    b_200_200_16777215_00_images_rouhani3.jpg

    Turkish PM Ahmet Davutoglu who is in Tehran to meet with Iranian authorities, was received by President Rouhani earlier this evening.

    Referring to the two countries as neighbors and brothers with huge cultural and religious commonalities, President Hassan Rouhani asserted that the basis of religious thinking in the two countries is different from some warmongering countries; “today, Islamic unity and solidarity among Muslim nations is a great mission and duty for all and everyone; Tehran and Ankara as two significant neighbors can take effective and constructive steps contributing to establishment of unity in the Muslim world.”

    Iranian president reiterated necessity of fight against terrorism which is a threat for all nations. “Other countries from outside the region are not after uprooting problems and merely follow their own interests. Thus, we believe that regional problems must be resolved by countries and nations of the region and there is no doubt Iran and Turkey can have constructive roles in establishing enduring peace in the region.”

    “That territorial integrity of countries must be respected, future of any nation must be decided by its own people, war and bloodshed must be stopped and the displaced need care are points the two sides share,” said Mr. Rouhani and continued that “Tehran and Ankara can work together seriously in these areas to work for resolving regional problems.”

    Rouhani also said that nations in the region were expecting bilateral and multilateral cooperation among countries in region so that Muslim countries can synergize potentials in order to solve difficulties.

    “There are no obstacles ahead of expansion of ties between the two countries and time is ripe for more relations to serve interests of both nations,” Hassan Rouhani said and rejected that some regional problems had affected Tehran-Ankara ties. “The two capitals enjoy high capacities in different areas such as transportation, business, investment, tourism and science and technology for cooperation.”

    President Rouhani also called for more active role for bilateral cooperation commissions and expressed hope setting operational measures in future would bring about improvements in relations of two countries.

    Turkish PM, for his part, emphasized that Ankara is determined to open a new chapter in its ties with Iran; “today, Turkey, more than any time before, intends to boost its fraternal cooperation with the Islamic Republic of Iran in different areas.”

    Ahmet Davutoglu who has come to Iran heading a delegation of investors and businesspeople said “Iran and Turkey complete each other and have high capacities and potentials for development of ties and considerable steps can be taken through joint investments in business and industry.”

    Davutoglu also pointed necessity of regional cooperation between Tehran and Ankara in fighting terrorism and stated that “we must work hand in hand in regional problems and stand against barbaric ways of terrorists. Turkey is ready for complete cooperation with Iran in fight against terrorism in the region.”

    Turkish PM concluded that his fellow country considers respect for territorial integrity and national sovereignty of other countries as basic principles of its foreign policy.

  • Iran, India to Discuss Gasfield Development, Oil Deal, Petchem Investment

     

     

    b_200_200_16777215_00_images_deputyminister1.jpg
    Iranian and Indian oil ministers are scheduled to meet in coming days in Tehran during which they are going to negotiate cooperation in the development of Farzad-B gas field, crude oil transaction, and investment in the petrochemical industry, said Iran’s deputy petroleum minister for international affairs and commerce.

    “Talks on the Farzad-B field are expected to extended for some time, and the Pars Oil and Gas Company will carry out the negotiations about the field,” Amir-Hossein Zamani-Nia said on Monday in an exclusive interview with Shana on the upcoming visit by India’s Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Dharmendra Pradhan.

    Pradhan’s visit, reportedly on April 6 and 7, is the first by an Indian minister following removal of sanctions as India wants more oil imports and shipments of natural gas from Iran.

    New Delhi is looking to increase engagement with Iran for the development of Farzad-B gas field in the Persian Gulf that was discovered by India’s ONGC Videsh, the overseas arm of the India’s state-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corporation.

    Under pressure from the United States, the OVL-led consortium delayed and ultimately relinquished development of Farzad-B offshore natural gas block. New Delhi also withdrew from the Iran-Pakistan-India pipeline project slated to bring 11.3 bcm meters of Iranian natural gas per year to India.

    “A proposal on the undersea pipeline to carry natural gas from Iran to India is also under study by an Indian firm,” the deputy minister added.

    Last December, managing director of the National Iranian Gas Export Company (NIGEC) said Tehran and New Delhi are seriously negotiating construction of a trans Oman Sea-Indian Ocean pipeline to transfer gas to the energy hungry India.

    “The 4.5-billion pipeline is set to pump 31.5 mcm of Iran’s gas to India’s western Gurjarat port,” Ali-Reza Kameli said on the sidelines of the Fifth World Energy Policy Summit in New Delhi adding that the talks are underway with the pipeline construction company South Asia Gas Enterprise (SAGE) which has the expertise for laying deepwater gas pipelines.

    Zamani-Nia also told Shana that Tehran and New Delhi are in talks over payment of India’s outstanding amounts arising from crude oil transactions.

    Director general of International Affairs of the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) has denied media reports that Tehran has accepted receiving the arrears in Indian rupees. “If NIOC was to receive the unpaid sum in rupees, it would do it earlier,” Mohsen Qamsari told Shana.

    The debts have been overdue because of US-led sanctions which barred their transfer to Iran which were lifted in the wake of the nuclear accord with the world powers.

    Gas-rich Iran which holds the largest reservoirs of 34 tcm or 18 percent of the global resources has also entered into contracts for export of natural gas to neighboring Turkey, Pakistan, Iraq, and UAE.

    Zamani-Nia said that the Indian minister is going to negotiate with Iranian Minister of Petroleum Bijan Zangeneh and meet minister of industry, governor of Central Bank of Iran, and FTZs secretary.

    “Pradhan will travel to Chabhahr port to visit the petrochemical site under construction by Indian firms for production of fertilizers before winding up his visit to Iran,” he said.

  • Iran: One Of The Most Attractive Emerging Markets?

    b_200_200_16777215_00_images_invest2.jpg

    By Rupert Hargreaves


    According to Sturgeon Capital, the firm that started up in December with the goal to invest exclusively in Iran, falling interest rates are the “single biggest catalyst” for an equity market rally in the country.
    Iran: One of the most attractive emerging markets?

    As reported in the Bloomberg Brief Hedge Fund newsletter, Sturgeon believes that Iran is one of the most attractive emerging markets out there today, and the country’s sky-high interest rates of 21% leave plenty of room for further monetary easing.

    Sturgeon Capital Inagural Report On Iran Strategy

    Iran’s central bank has become more hawkish in recent months. The country’s inflation rate, which hit a high of 40% in 2013, has fallen to 12.6% in the 12 months ending February 19 and now that sanctions against the country have been lifted inflation should fall further. Interest rates should soon start to reflect this disinflationary trend.

    According to Clemente Cappello, founder of the London based Sturgeon:

    “We expect them [interest rates] to go down gradually to higher single digits. That should provide a big boost for the stock markets because it means your cost of capital is going down, it means the interest rates you’re getting from bank deposits will be reduced and therefore, it makes the stock market comparatively more attractive.”

    To play the falling interest rate trend, Sturgeon is focusing on small-cap, family-owned companies in Iran’s industrial and consumer sectors, which have strong export potential.

    A great example is the glass sector. The main cost inputs for Iranian glass companies are labour, energy and sand — all of which are in abundant supply in the country. Other examples of companies the fund is interested in are; a utility company that services the petrochemical sector; an Internet provider, a payment processing company and; a vegetable oil producer.

    Now that sanctions against the company have been lifted, Sturgeon’s investment universe has widened from 50 to all 600 companies listed on the Iranian stock exchange – that total excludes four entities controlled by Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps.

    With Sanctions Gone, Is Iran A Hot Investment Destination?

    According to Bloomberg Brief, Greylock Capital Management is also bullish on the outlook for Iran’s stock market as foreign investors and multinationals flock back to the country after last year’s historic nuclear deal.

    According to Greylock’s CEO and chairman, Hans Humes, who traveled to Iran in June, the biggest opportunities for investors are Iran’s energy, infrastructure and corporate services markets where investment opportunities may be worth “multiple tens of billions” of dollars in the next five to ten years, assuming political stability.

    However, there are risks and some are more skeptical. Recent actions by Iran may give one a reason to be a bit more hesitant from either an ethical and/or realist point of view.

  • Iran's NIOC, Austria's OMV to sign long term crude oil contract

    b_200_200_16777215_00_images_invest3.jpg

    The OMV group, the international, integrated oil and gas company headquartered in Vienna, is negotiating for a long term contract of crude oil with National Iranian Oil Company.

    “Iran’s oil export to Austria has kicked off through spot contracts,” said Seyed Mohsen Ghamsari, Executive Director for International Affairs at National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC), when asked about the latest status of Iran-Austria oil trade and the agreements signed with the OMV group, an integrated international oil and gas company headquartered in Austrian capital city of Vienna.

    The official announced that so far a cargo of 1 million barrels of crude oil has been delivered to the OMV group and concurrently the talks for signing a long term contract of oil sale to the Austrians are underway.

    “No final agreement has been reached yet,” reiterated the board member of the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC), “hence no volume of oil trade for the long term contract has been agreed upon.”

    Two weeks ago, the OMV group announced that the company has received an Iranian cargo of 1 million barrels of crude oil at Italian port of Trieste. 

  • Iran's oil minister says U.S. companies are welcome to invest in the oil and gas industry

    b_200_200_16777215_00_images_zanganeh2.jpg


    Iran's oil minister says U.S. companies are welcome to invest in the oil and gas industry
     In this Nov. 17, 2015 file photo, Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh listens to a question during a press conference in Tehran, Iran. State-run Press TV quoted Zanganeh Sunday, March 13, 2016, saying that U.S. companies are welcome to invest in Iran's oil and gas industry. The TV report said Zangeneh also asked the German company Siemens executives to invest in Iran's oil and gas industry. (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi, File)

    U.S. companies are welcome to invest in Iran's oil and gas industry, the Iranian oil minister said on Sunday.

    State-run Press TV quoted Bijan Namdar Zangeneh as saying that "in general, we have no problem with the presence of American companies in Iran."

    He said it is the U.S. government that is "creating restrictions for these companies," without elaborating. Zangeneh also confirmed that Iran's state-run oil company has held talks with General Electric.

    "Of course, my deputy conducted these negotiations and when I inquired about them, it was said that the talks were positive," he said.

    The TV report said Zangeneh also asked Siemens executives to invest in Iran's oil and gas industry.

    "The German company must come to Iran to build equipment and parts needed in our oil industry and manufacture them here," he said.

    All sanctions related to Iran's nuclear program were lifted in January under a landmark agreement reached with world powers, but the U.S. maintains separate sanctions related to Iran's ballistic missile program and its support for State Department-designated terrorist groups.

    Iran is trying to regain its share of the global petroleum market after the removal of sanctions.

    Saudi Arabia, Russia, Venezuela and Qatar floated the idea of a production cap last month with the aim of boosting global oil prices, but it was conditional on other producers joining in. Iran, which is eager to jumpstart its oil industry, has so far resisted.

    Zangeneh dismissed the idea of a production freeze by Iran as "a joke", according to the TV report. He said Iran will take part in discussions on a possible oil production freeze after its output reaches 4 million barrels per day.

    "As long as we have not reached 4 million bpd in production, they should leave us alone," Zangeneh said.

    Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


      Source:   Associated Press

  • Iran's Potential for Economic Growth

    {jcomments on} 

    b_200_200_16777215_00_images_lady_business_rev.jpg

     

    Iran’s population of over 74 million people composes 1.09% of the world’s population; Iran has the second largest population, after Egypt, in the Middle East and North Africa region

    The Islamic Republic of Iran, is a resource-rich and labor-rich country; new mineral wealth is being discovered each year, and a large part of the country is still unexplored:

    Ranks seventh in mineral wealth; among the world’s top three holders of proven oil and natural gas reserves; possesses 10% of proven global petroleum reserves with an estimated 137.6 billion barrels of proven oil reserves; possesses about 18% of the earth’s natural-gas deposits, ranks as the world’s second holder of proven gas reserves after Russia with an estimated proven natural gas reserves at 1,045 trillion cubic feet (Tcf),

    OPEC’s second-largest producer and exporter after Saudi Arabia

    In the soon-to-come era of natural gas dominance over oil, Iran will oust Saudi Arabia as the world’s beating heart for energy
    Strategic location, surrounded by 15 land and sea neighbors, can serve as a lucrative trade and transit route in both north-south and east-west directions

    Abundant natural and human resources would be magnets for foreign direct investment if a hospitable business climate and sufficient incentives should prevail

    Variegated climate and favorable topography allow for a rich agriculture under conducive policies

    The minimal infrastructure needed for growth and development (roads, railroads, air and sea ports, modern communications) is already in place to promote and sustain growth under proper maintenance

    According to a report published by Goldman Sachs, Iran has the strong possibility of becoming one of the world's largest economies in the 21st century
    The country has a young and steadily urbanizing population:
    65% of the population is under the age of 30
    68% live in urban settings

    Iran is the fastest growing country in terms of numbers of scientific publications in the world, growing from just 736 in 1996 to 13,238 in 2008

    The Government is committed to a “comprehensive plan for science”, including boosting R&D investment to 4% of GDP by 2030 (it stood at just 0.59% of GDP in 2006)

    Considered the region’s most “wired” nation, with more than one-third of its 74 million people having access to the Internet
    Health outcomes in Iran have improved greatly over the past twenty years and now generally exceed regional averages; key to this success has been the Government of Iran’s strong commitment to and effective delivery of primary health care

    Health outcomes in rural areas are almost equal to those in urban areas, with outcomes in terms of infant and maternal mortality nearly identical between urban and rural areas.

    Among 169 countries, the Islamic Republic of Iran has been ranked 70th in terms of Human Development Index (HDI) according to the United Nations' report on 2010 Human Development Index (HDI)

     

     

     

     

  • Iran’s re-entry into the global economy: An interview with Chris Parker


    b_200_200_16777215_00_images_parker.jpg

    by Iain MacGillivray

    Chris Parker, MBE, is the CEO of Iran Business Hub, a London-registered, international, British and Iranian partnership that specializes in large corporate entry into Iran. The Iran Business Hub provides confidential advisory, strategic planning and operational services. Mr. Parker sat down with GRI to discuss Iran’s re-entry into the global economy and the future of economic investment in Iran.
    “Not a question of how economic engagement will happen but when”

    GRI: With Iran’s re-entry into the global economy and the possibility of economic opportunities for trade and foreign capital, what do you see is the future for Iran regarding economic investment? What does Iran offer for future investors?

    Chris Parker: I was just talking to former deputy governor of the Central Bank of Iran (CBI) – Kamal Seyed Ali, who aptly pointed out that “Iran is in a period of transformation.” What this statement means is that there is a sense that there is great momentum building up and an enormous appetite from western businesses and their Iranian counterparts to engage with each other. Essentially, both the private sector and the Iranian government are so to speak ‘moving out onto the dance floor’ regarding economic engagement. They are unsure of how to ‘dance with each other’, but the motivation is there.

    However, there is a significant gap in information on how to facilitate this. Despite the appetite from international credit organizations, national banks and sovereign wealth funds, there needs to be patience and clarity before real economic engagement occurs. Notwithstanding this gap in information, there is support from all sides in making sure that this change and tempo continues. The necessary international frameworks and regulations are being established as we speak to facilitate these processes, but EU and US financial institutions need to help promote this further.

    However, we must remember the significance of how big the potential market is in Iran. It is a consumer-driven market, which has been short of branded and luxury goods for some time and this presents an opportunity for importing and rebuilding consumer confidence in these areas. Of course external influences such as the continuing OFAC sanctions and regional instability will drive uncertainty in these relations, but the unstoppable momentum and interest that is there between the private sector and the Iranian government can only bring round positive outcomes. It is not so much a question of how this economic engagement will happen but when.
    The potential of ‘soft infrastructure’

    GRI: What future investment do you see for the Iranian oil and aviation industry? What other industries do you see substantial growth in and the potential for foreign capital investment?

    Chris Parker:  The Iranian oil industry is in need of substantial investment. Some International Oil Companies (IOC’s), as well as their shareholders, will want to help Iran back onto its feet in re-entering the hydrocarbon market. Iran has the potential to dominate the oil sector and it is a growth economy. Regarding the aviation industry, growth is moving at a rapid pace and is fastest in terms of domestic aviation.

    Besides this let’s not forget that it is far easier in Iran to invest large amounts of capital compared with other Middle Eastern countries. Iran is a signatory to The New York Arbitration Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards of 1958. This allows transparency and significantly reduces political risk, as there is a final court of arbitration and court-enforced decisions if anything does go wrong. However, all such legal frameworks, of course, remain recently untested. Iran presents a safe place to invest large amounts of capital investment, therefore the drive for international investment in these primary industries.

    In terms of other sectors as I mentioned previously, consumer goods will be one of the most major areas for investment and economic opportunities in Iran. However, what is also needed (and I can see exponential growth in), is ‘soft infrastructure’ such as in traffic control operation procedures, railway systems, and integrated logistics. Iran has a very well-educated population and the drive for innovation and design in population’s centres will see the potential for technological investment as well.

    Don’t forget that visas into Iran are easier to obtain now, and it will become a very attractive international tourist destination especially in the north of Iran. There is no significant resort-based tourism yet but with ski-fields and scenery that is second to none, International tourism is on the up and up and will no longer be exclusively for adventure travellers. However, despite international investment, it must be made clear that Iran will dictate its own growth with the help of these international and regional companies.
    “Iran can and will become a new trading hub”

    GRI: What possibilities does Iran’s re-emergence in the global economy present for regional economic prospects?

    Chris Parker: Iran is an island of stability in an ever uncertain and unstable region. It has the required institutional processes and security needed to provide a stable political and economic environment. This is why there is this thirst to invest because there is the potential as well as a secure environment for business.

    Concerning regional integration, the political rapprochement and lifting of sanctions has also seen Iran play a potentially larger role in the region. The economies in the GCC are in trouble due to the drop in the price of oil and the social tensions that are caused by this. Iran, however, has opened its doors to investment from regional players and vice-versa. It is easy to obtain a visa for business purposes as Iran seeks to play a wider part in the economic integration of the region. Despite the political situation in the Middle East, there is an excellent opportunity for economic integration with other Gulf States as is demonstrated by Iran’s relationship with Oman. Iran can and will become a new trading hub just like Dubai.  
    The need for a robust regulation model

    GRI: Which countries are most interested in investing in Iran? Do you see potential investment from international economic players such as the United States and other developing powers?

    Chris Parker:  In terms of investment and finance, there are still many primary sanctions holding back companies from investing in all sectors such as banking. Leading the way however is Turkey, who sees the opening up of the Iranian economy as an enormous opportunity. Turkey will dominate in terms of hard infrastructure, such as in construction industry due to its regional proximity and expertise. On the other hand, the EU and the UK will lead the way in ‘soft infrastructure,’ which I mentioned previously. Most of these investments will take the form of Joint Ventures that will develop not only these industries but also provide essential expertise.

    Iran, however, needs to work out a robust regulation model – whether it follows the path of Dubai in terms of high standards or follows the quick build model with a lesser standard. However, this decision will be crucial if Iran wishes to attract and establish solid business investment.

    Iran has now attained an unstoppable momentum. It is this rate of change that we need to observe and watch. For us in the business world, this tempo and rate of change must also come hand in hand with quality, safe infrastructure, and regulatory development. It must also be linked to political assistance from the international community and international business sector. The possibilities for the future are endless, but Iran cannot do this on its own.

    Chris Parker, MBE, is the CEO of Iran Business Hub. He is also Chairman of Charmogen Group, an international consultancy network, and he was previously Chief Operating Officer for a major oil & gas exploration company. He has also been an Operations Director with Hyder plc in London, and was Project Director for the successful $1.3B Burj Dubai infrastructure mega-project in the UAE. Chris has served on UK and NL Government Trade Missions to the MENA region and frequently speaks at international trade conferences and comments live on Sky News and international media. Chris has a Master’s Degree in Technology and is a Chartered Manager and Fellow of the CMI.

    keywords:Iran,Investment

    Source:Global Risk Insights

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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