World  Business and Economic Analysis 

Investment,

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


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    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

  • Iranian banks to open branches in Europe

     

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    Head of Monetary and Banking Research Institute (MBRI) said opening branches of Iranian and European banks had been placed on the agenda.

    Speaking at the 4th Iran-Europe Trade and Banking Conference in the IRIB International Hall, Ali Divandari said the event mainly seeks to review process of reforms in Iran’s banking system in order to speed up connections to the international system.

    In the meantime, issues like future of the industry, launch of Iranian banks in Europe and meeting international standards will be surveyed by experts during the two-day conference.

    MBRI managing director described Europe as the second largest trade partner of Iran after Asia and expressed optimism that the event will prove effective in facilitating trade and banking relations between the two sides.

    He noted that MBRI, as the research arm of the Central Bank of Iran (CBI), had put on the agenda serious measures to reconnect Iran’s banking system to the global one as a means of paving the path for expansion of trade and banking ties.

    “Investment opportunities in Iran, especially in infrastructure and energy sectors, will be introduced to foreign guests of the conference,” Divandari underscored.

    He reiterated that compliance to international rules and regulations and combating money laundering were major prerequisites to reconnection of Iran to the International banking system.

    The Monetary and Banking Research Institute is holding the 4th Iran-Europe Trade and Banking Conference in the IRIB International Hall on 29-30 April 2017.

    The main objectives of the conference include the exchange of ideas between various scholars and specialists from different economic fields; active participation of reputable domestic and foreign firms; holding of multilateral meetings between European individuals, companies and institutions and their Iranian counterparts; provision of a platform for meeting potential customers and trade partners; building private and personal communication networks; and also introduction of various products and services.

  • JGC looking to land plant contracts in Iran this year

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    Iran is poised to build new oil refineries and petrochemical plants, now that it has been freed from international sanctions. Experts warn that investing in the Middle Eastern country is still risky, in part due to sectarian tensions with neighbors such as Saudi Arabia. Yet companies are leery of another risk, too -- missing out on huge opportunities.

    Yoshihiro Shigehisa

         JGC, Japan's leading plant builder, is one company looking at ways to capitalize on this potentially lucrative market. The Nikkei spoke with Yoshihiro Shigehisa, JGC group's chairman emeritus, about the business outlook in Iran.

    Q: What are your expectations for post-sanctions Iran?

    A: This is an opportunity to tap a big, promising market. Iran has one of the largest populations in the Middle East, with nearly 80 million people. It has said it will raise its crude oil output in two stages, by 1 million barrels a day. We pulled our employees out of the country because of the sanctions, but we plan to station one or two in Tehran by spring. We expect growing demand for plants, and we hope to strike some deals by the end of this year.

         There are opportunities for other Japanese businesses, not just ours. Due to the sanctions, the government has limited funds for new projects. For large endeavors, Tehran will seek to secure loans or work out other financial arrangements with its partners.

    Q: Are you interested in other fields of business in Iran, besides the resource sector?

    A: We want to invest in ways that will help the country to develop. Nothing has been decided yet, but we may consider investing in hospitals and agriculture, along with power plants.

    Q: Earlier this year, Saudi Arabia cut diplomatic ties with Iran. Are you worried about the deepening religious conflict?

    A: My sense is that the bilateral relationship will not deteriorate further. Falling crude oil prices are hitting both economies. They should be aware that this is not the time for them to confront each other.

         But it is also true that we should be cautious when making deals with Iran, to avoid compromising our relationship with Saudi Arabia. I recently visited a Saudi customer I have known for years. Although this customer might not welcome us doing business with Iran, the impression I got was that they would accept it. 

  • Law on Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Act

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    The Law on foreign investment in Iran under the name of “Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Act” (FIPPA) was ratified by the parliament in 2002.

    Some specific enhancements introduced by FIPPA for foreign investment in Iran can be outlined as follows:
    1-Broader fields for involvement by foreign investors including in major infrastructure,
    2-Broader definition given to foreign investment, covering all types of investments from FDI to different types of project financing methods including :Civil Participation, Buy –Back arrangements, Counter trade and various BOT schemes;
    3-Streamlined and fast track investment licensing application and approval process;
    4-Creation of a one stop shop called the “Center for foreign investment Services” at the organization for investment for focused and efficient support for foreign investment undertaking in Iran,
    5-More flexibility and facilitated regulatory practices for the access of foreign investors to foreign exchange for capital transfer purpose

     

    Law on Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Act (English)

    Application form to enjoy Foreign Investment and protection act in Iran  (FIPPA)

     

    If you need Free Investment consultancy on investing in Iran Special Economic Zones please send your questions  to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  

  • Merger Brings Global Financial Network to Melbourne

     

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    Fast growing capital markets group BlueMount Capital has welcomed Melbourne-based corporate advisory and investment banking firm Kennedy Needham to the BlueMount Capital Group, establishing a presence in Melbourne to complement its Sydney, Brisbane, Perth and Shanghai offices. As part of the merger, Kennedy Needham will rebrand as BlueMount Capital.

    The Chairman of BlueMount Capital Dr Saliba Sassine said: “On behalf of the whole BlueMount Group, I take this opportunity to welcome Kennedy Needham into our Group and we look forward to driving our business nationally and internationally with the Melbourne office.”

    Brent Needham, the executive Chairman of Kennedy Needham said “BlueMount Capital’s new combined offering will provide our clients with a stronger national presence and a global reach which Kennedy Needham could not go past.”

    Co-Founder of BlueMount Capital, Mr Barry Palte, said the firm was attracted to Kennedy Needham because of its respected team of professionals, established relationships, 30 year successful transaction history and Melbourne base. Furthermore, the expanded network creates a major new player which is unique within Australia.

    BlueMount Capital is the exclusive Australian member firm of the International Association of Investment Bankers (IAIB www.iaib.org), an international affiliation of investment banks.

    Barry Palte, who is also global co-Chairman of IAIB, said: “The combined Group will be able to draw on a truly national and international network to deliver globally relevant solutions to its clients. With 10 IAIB member firms in North America, Europe, Asia and Australia, and current new member discussions in China, Japan, Korea and Brazil, our exclusive IAIB membership enables BlueMount Capital as a mid-sized national firm to provide agility and capability while offering genuine global reach and service to our clients.

    “Melbourne plays an increasingly important role in a number of cross-border transactions we are working on and we needed the right partner to strengthen our leading market position. With this merger, BlueMount Capital will be able to offer Victorian businesses and investors more services, a stronger national presence, a truly global network and the rich experience of more than 40 experienced professionals operating in both Australia and China.”

    BlueMount Capital was established in 2010 with Australian offices in Brisbane, Perth and Sydney. The Group has recently advised on transactions worth more than $1 billion. This includes China Dairy Corporation’s $300 million market capitalisation IPO; the sale of PinkBerry, one of the leading frozen yoghurt store chains in the world, together with a US based IAIB member; and the $69 million market capitalisation IPO of Boyuan, the first Chinese property developer to list on the Australian Stock Exchange. BlueMount Capital also advised one of China’s largest groups on its bids for State Super Financial Services and Greenstone Group, both of which had enterprise values in excess of $1billion.

    Kennedy Needham is currently undertaking an equity raising of up to $200 million for Dairy Farm Investments. The firm recently acted as lead arranger in the corporate sale of Australian Wholefoods to Patties Foods/Pacific Equity Partners as well as the $35 million corporate sale of Popina Foods to ASX listed Freedom Foods Group.

  • Ministry of Economy is pursuing the realization of digital banking and insurance

    Speaking at the session of the General Council of Iran Insurers Syndicate, attended by the deputy Minister of Economic Affairs and Finance, Abbas Memarnejad stated that the most important aspect of digitizing insurance companies is designing a business model.

    According to international research, the use of new technologies, business process modification, and business model design by insurance companies reduce business costs by 5 to 6 percent, 12 to 15 percent, and 20 to 25 percent respectively, he said.

    The focus of insurance companies on the customer experience and need for designing and delivering new products to the market is a new look at the insurance industry that must be given serious consideration for their survival in the market, Memarnejad noted.b_200_200_16777215_00_images_memarnejad.jpg

  • OECD lowers Iran’s risk level

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    The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has unsurprisingly upgraded Iran's rating in the country risk classifications of the Participants to the Arrangement on Officially Supported Export Credits (CRE) from 6 to 5.

    The long-awaited upgrade was announced following the organization’s last meeting on Friday. The last upgrade in Iran’s rating goes back to June 2016, when Iran’s ranking improved one notch, moving from 7 to 6.

    The country risk classifications of the Participants to the Arrangement on Officially Supported Export Credits are one of the most fundamental building blocks of the arrangement rules on minimum premium rates for credit risk, according to OECD.

    The important decision comes amid growing concerns over the future of the nuclear agreement signed in 2016 by Iran and the six world powers, mainly due to US President Donald Trump’s hostile approach toward the historic deal. Trump recently threatened to abandon the deal in spring unless it is fixed to his liking. His secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, held talks with Europeans this week to persuade them to join the US in amending the nuclear agreement and imposing new sanctions on Iran.

    “This was indeed a positive signal from the Europeans and a further indication of their interest to continue engaging with Iran within the framework of the nuclear deal,” Arash Shahraini, deputy head of Export Guarantee Fund of Iran, told the Financial Tribune in a telephone interview on Friday.

    “The upgrade reduces the cost of attracting foreign finance, and as a result helps us increase our foreign exchange reserves,” he said.

    Deserving Better

    But the measure was not unexpected for Tehran as the authorities had been waiting for the upgrade after the economic sanctions were eased in January 2016.

    Pointing to country’s reserves and low external debt, Shahraini is of the opinion that Iran deserves a higher classification, namely 3 or even 2.

    As the OECD puts it, the country risk classifications are meant to reflect country risk, which is composed of transfer and convertibility risk (i.e. the risk that a government imposes capital or exchange controls that prevent an entity from converting local currency into foreign currency and/or transferring funds to creditors located outside the country) and cases of force majeure (e.g. war, expropriation, revolution, civil disturbance, floods, earthquakes).

    Iran’s official reserves were projected at $123.5 billion in 2016-17, according to a report released by the International Monetary Fund in February 2017. The country’s total debt to GDP stood at 2.2%, which is lower than any other country in the world.. Iran also recorded the highest economic growth in the world according to the global lender’s 2016 report – 12.5%.

    A recent report published by the EGFI, Iran’s state-owned export credit agency, compares Iran’s economic indicators with the average performance of countries in each risk classification, backing its claim that Iran has outperformed other countries in 2016 and deserves lower risk.

    The senior EGFI official said, “There are other factors that have a bearing on the OECD’s final assessment including political risks and a country’s history in settling its external debts,” he said.

    Due to the constraints in financial relations with its foreign trade partners, Iran had been unable to settle $3 billion of its external debts during the sanctions era. “However, following the lifting of the sanctions this issue was prioritized by the Central Bank of Iran…within a year we either repaid our debts or reached agreements over restructuring.”

    Non-OECD Finance Already Here

    Shahraini believes that the upgrade in Iran’s risk classification will help encourage financial institutions in the OECD-member countries to engage with Iran, where their non-OECD competitors have already started doing business.

    Iran has concluded several foreign finance contracts in the past six months including two agreements worth $25 billion with China Development Bank and CITIC Trust, a no-cap deal with Russia’s Exim Bank, a €5 billion deal with Italy’s Invitalia Global Investment, a €1 billion deal with Austria’s Oberbank, a €500 million deal with Denmark's Danske Bank and two contracts worth €13 billion with South Korea’s Exim Bank and K-Sure.

    Unlike OECD members, export credit agencies in the BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) have gradually improved Iran's rating in their risk classifications since the nuclear deal was implemented. The five-nation bloc now accounts for one-third of Iran’s non-oil trade.

     

    According to  Fdi  ,espite increased international isolation and diplomatic tensions, the OECD has an optimistic view on Iran. Sebastian Shehadi reports.

    The OECD has upgraded Iran’s country credit risk rating to 5 from 6 (out of 7), putting it on par with Brazil and Jordan, among others, the Paris-based institution said in a statement on January 26.

    ‘Country risk’ encompasses unforeseeable circumstances, such as political unrest and natural disasters, and transfer and convertibility risk, such as governments’ imposing capital or exchange controls (that is, banning foreign remittances). The methodology classifies “countries in connection with their agreement on minimum premium fees for official export credits”, according to the OECD website.

    “A better risk rating will serve to boost Iran's financial and credit status in international markets, as well as provide potential incentives for Asian and European partners to deepen their respective levels of engagement with the Islamic Republic,” said James Appleyard, managing consultant at global risk and strategic consulting firm Verisk Maplecroft.

    Iran’s ranking previously moved up a grade in June 2016, from 7 to 6. Iran’s investment promotion agency, the Organization for Investment Economic and Technical Assistance (OIETA), said the country’s economic performance accounts for the upgrades, along with the efforts made by its central bank, foreign ministry, the Export Guarantee Fund of Iran, and the OIETA. As a result, Iran’s exports soared by an estimated 41.3% in 2016, while imports remained around the more usual mark of 6%, according to the World Bank.  

    The OECD’s decision comes amid rising sociopolitical unrest in Iran and growing concerns over the future of the 2016 nuclear agreement signed by Iran and the P5+1 group. In 2017, US president Donald Trump threatened to abandon the deal unless certain conditions were met.

    In early January 2018, Iran experienced its worst bout of political unrest since 2009, resulting in dozens of deaths and hundreds of arrests. The protesters claimed to be rallying against rampant corruption, rising fuel and food prices, as well as dashed hopes following the lifting of UN and EU (but not US) sanctions against Iran in 2015 and 2016, after which the public expected better economic development.

    The main factor behind the OECD’s upgrade was Iran’s positive macroeconomic indicators, as evidenced by the IMF, which projected Iran’s real GDP to expand by 3.5% and 3.8% in 2017 and 2018, respectively, according to Dr Arshin Adib-Moghaddam, an expert on Iran at the School of Oriental and African Studies. In 2022, the IMF estimates Iran’s economic growth will stand at 4.1%. “The [recent] protests were about the mismanagement of distribution of some of these economic gains, rather than the economy itself,” he added.

    Dr Scott Lucas, professor of international politics at the UK’s University of Birmingham, said the OECD’s risk ratings can be rather bullish and positive. Like any international organisation, it may also have an agenda: in this case, keeping the Iran nuclear deal in place.

    The World Bank’s latest Iran report (October 2017) also gave a positive, albeit tempered, outlook. “The Iranian economy strongly recovered in 2016, on the back of a significant rise in oil production and exports, following the removal of nuclear related international sanctions,” it said. “However, unemployment remains high and non-oil sector activity remains subdued, as anticipated foreign investment flows have not materialised, in the absence of a full integration of the banking sector with the global banking system and continued uncertainties regarding full implementation of the [nuclear deal]. Growth prospects in the medium term are modest.”

    Following the nuclear deal and the lifting of sanctions in 2016, Iran’s inbound greenfield investment soared, reaching a record high of $12.18bn, according to greenfield investment monitor fDi Markets. In 2017, this figure returned to Iran’s more usual FDI mark of $2.13bn.

     

  • OFAC latest update of the FAQ's relating to the lifting of certain US sanctions on Iran

     

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    World Business Year prepared OFAC latest update of the FAQ's relating to the lifting of certain US sanctions on Iran.
    Please find attached file



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  • Official: Iran to Hold 8th Airshow in Fall

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    Secretary of Iranian Airlines Association Maqsoud Asa'adi Samani said the 8th International Aviation Exhibition will be held in November.

    "The 8th International Aviation Exhibition will be held on Kish Island on November 17-20," Asa'adi Samani told reporters in Tehran on Sunday.

    Noting that the biennial exhibition is the first major event after the removal of sanctions against the aviation industry, he said the biggest international aircraft manufacturers, including Airbus and spare parts companies will be in attendance.

    "The 8th exhibition will be the biggest industrial event in Iran after the nuclear deal (with the world powers)," Asa'adi Samani said.

    Tehran has become a hot destination for foreign delegations, jockeying for position in the lucrative new market opening for business. The nuclear agreement explicitly prioritizes the sale of commercial passenger aircraft and related parts and services to Iran, with Airbus and Boeing are poised to rebuild the fleet and secure an enormous payday.

    Iran Civil Aviation Organization acts as a policy maker and coordinator to promote an indigenous Iranian aeronautical industry by providing and assisting the aircraft industries with needed technologies, knowledge and parts.

  • Post sanctions, this is a country with much going for it

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    Fifty years ago, he had just attended a conference in Tehran. He loved it — as did his fellow delegates. In a note afterwards, he wrote of their “surprise with the striking contrasts” all over the city, noting the “watermelon stalls on one side of the road” with “new factories for assembling Leyland lorries and Mercedes ‘buses’ on the other”.

    He was impressed by Iran’s firm sense of nation, its pride in its ancient civilisation, and the “the stability and continuity provided by the personality of the Shah”. He noted Iran’s steadily improving relationship with the Soviet Union and eastern Europe and the growing ease with which companies — and car companies in particular — could do business in Iran.

    Tehran, he reported, was a “Mercedes museum” in that “almost every model ever produced was on the streets”. Leyland had “established a strong and flourishing bridge head”; British double-deckers looked “surprisingly at home under the blue skies of Tehran”; and a new factory was being set up to produce 7,000 Rootes Group saloons a year (Rootes was a UK car manufacturer that had disappeared into Chrysler by the end of the 1960s).

    Anyone who thought that Iran was “ripe for revolution” was just wrong, said Mr Bruce-Gardyne. He even dared to hope that “the example of Persia’s prosperity through stability might even prove infectious” in the region.

    Forecasts made about the Middle East tend to be even riskier than those made about regions elsewhere. And Mr Bruce-Gardyne was of course wrong on every single point.

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    Since the country approved its theocratic-republican constitution in 1979 there has been less “prosperity through stability” than anyone at the 1966 convention might have expected. But could it now return? The end of the sanctions against Iran (at least by the EU and the UN) and the results of recent elections show the reformers have made gains.

    Interest in the country has soared: there are conferences aplenty both here and there — including one hosted by the Financial Times in London this week — and the talk is all of prosperity and stability once more.

    I listened to Michael Axworthy of Exeter University speaking at an event held by Scottish-based fund manager MacInroy & Wood last week. His positive case for Iran is hugely compelling. Iran has a young and highly literate population, 60 per cent of which is aged under 35 (no pension problems there) with a wealthy, entrepreneurial and still interested diaspora.

    Rouhani brings hope that this time it might be different in Iran
    The snow capped peaks of the Alborz mountain range stand beyond buildings and rooftops on the city skyline in Tehran, Iran, on Wednesday, Nov. 25, 2015. Iran will encourage foreign partners and investment as sanctions are lifted and the country seeks to boost its economy after July's nuclear agreement with the world powers, President Hassan Rouhani said. Photographer: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg

    The coalition should be better placed to enact the economic reforms the country desperately needs

    The literacy rate is over 85 per cent, with 68 per cent of university entrants being women and some 234,000 new engineers graduating every year. The young are also very “IT savvy”, says Mr Axworthy. Think of an interesting IT firm in the west and you can be sure it is already replicated in Iran.

    A chat with Iran specialist Dominic Bokor-Ingram of Charlemagne Capital cemented the image. He reckons that Iran can grow its GDP at 6-8 per cent for the foreseeable future. It has all the things it needs to do so. Certainly, sanctions have left plenty of spare capacity — Iran currently uses only 42 per cent of its generating capacity. It has the right sort of population. It has very low debt: net government debt to GDP is a mere 4 per cent (this is the kind of figure that George Osborne fantasises about) and its companies and consumers are all but debt free too.

    It has a good starting point — Iran’s economy is already bigger than Australia’s and it is also surprisingly diverse. You might think Iranian prosperity is likely to be based on the fact that it has some of the largest oil and gas reserves in the world (fourth-largest oil reserves and the largest gas reserves of all). You’re wrong, says Mr Bokor-Ingram. Despite all this underground sun, the oil and gas industry made up only 10 per cent of GDP in 2014.

    There around 30 other sectors listed on the stock exchange: there may be no Rootes left, but the car industry remains Iran’s second-biggest contributor to GDP (look up Iran Khodro — I wouldn’t mind one of their four wheel drives). You might also think that much GDP is devoted to military spending. Again, wrong. It’s 2.7 per cent.

    Sounds good doesn’t it? There are risks. Lots of them. There is the risk that the reformers’ progress is shortlived — that religious hardliners take back control. And that the result of that is the thing investors in Iran most fear — “snapback,” or the automatic reimposition of sanctions.
    "There are risks. Lots of them. There is the risk that the reformers’ progress is shortlived — that religious hardliners take back control. And that the result of that is the thing investors in Iran most fear — “snapback,” or the automatic reimposition of sanctions"

    There are many geopolitical tensions: Iran is fighting a good few proxy wars. Mr Axworthy also points to nasty signs of family breakdown, gender discrimination and drug addiction (Iran takes a hard line on drugs but is also home to 2.4m heroin addicts) and high levels of corruption. Then there is oil. It might be only 10 per cent of GDP but revenues from it make up some 30 per cent of government income. So oil at $20 rather than $60 does matter.

    Still, I’m prepared to overlook most of these risks. Why? Price. The Iranian stock market has risen 20 per cent since the end of sanctions but that still puts it on a 2016 price/earnings ratio of 5.5 times with a dividend yield of 13 per cent (Mr Bokor-Ingram’s numbers). The Mobile Telecommunications Company of Iran has 6.5m subscribers and trades on a price/earnings ratio of 3.5 times. Buy it today and you’ll get a 12 per cent dividend. All this discounts the kind of political and economic disasters that look increasingly unlikely (note that Russia, which I am also prepared to hold on the basis of cheapness is on over seven times) — and makes very little allowance for the improvements that look increasingly likely.

    At this price, Iran has to be one of the best opportunities in the investment world right now — even if the “E” in the PE equation isn’t 100 per cent accurate. The bad news is that I’m not the only one to have noticed. Charlemagne Capital held a conference that included Iran this week: it was packed and I was getting texts from excitable rich friends in the audience by coffee time.
    Twitter


    And it isn’t easy for ordinary investors to get in: there are technical problems (with foreign exchange and with custodians) and the US sanctions make it hard for US banks to do much. And of course the whole idea is rather new — foreign buying is a mere 1 per cent of the market.

    Charlemagne has the only fund I know (with its Iranian partners) — the Turquoise Variable Capital Investment Fund. Unfortunately, to get in you need to invest $125,000, pay high fees, and not mind there being no liquidity if everyone piles in and then tries to get out again (almost inevitable with newish markets like this). But if you can cope with all of that, Iran is definitely worth a look.

  • Privatization in Iran is booming

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    Privatization in Iran making good progress. State-run company should privatized and it seems huge amount of money will injected to Economy. There are excellent opportunity for foreign investor to buy governmental companies or make joint-venture with Iranian partners to set-up investment in Iran.


    By governmental  assignments envisioned in “The law of Enforcing of General Policies of Article 44 of the Constitution”, its relevant rules and regulations, and approvals of the Divesture Board, hereinafter the Board, the Iranian Privatization Organization, hereinafter the Organization, intends to transfer stocks/assets of the following enterprises with the terms and conditions as mentioned in this advertisement. Tender documents and other transferring conditions are accessible via the official website of the Organization at the following addressess: www.ipo.ir. The applicants are highly requested to consider the condtions mentioned in the bid proposal form and transferring contract.

  • S. Korean Firms Eye Multibillion Dollar Deals

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    South Korea’s president heads to Iran on Sunday targeting billions of dollars of economic and energy deals in a landmark visit.
    President Park Geun-hye will help establish a “foundation of cooperation” with Iran by becoming the first South Korean president to visit Tehran since the nations established diplomatic ties in 1962, a presidential spokesman said ahead of the visit, The Wall Street Journal reported.
    She will meet Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Monday and possibly hold talks with Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
    Officials in Seoul say the primary purpose of the visit is economic, as Korean companies eye deals in areas such as construction, autos and electronics.
    Park will be accompanied by Seoul’s biggest-ever traveling business delegation of over 230 executives during the three-day visit.
    East Asian nations are scrambling to boost economic links with Tehran after it won relief from western sanctions last year by agreeing to restrictions on its nuclear program.
    Chinese President Xi Jinping visited Iran in January and announced ambitious trade plans, while Japan signed an investment treaty with Iran a month later.
    South Korea is also eager to boost its oil supply from Iran, which used to account for 10% of its oil imports before sanctions were imposed.

     Banking on Past Loyalty

    According to South Korean government sources, contractor Daelim Industrial is expected to sign a $4.9 billion contract to build a railroad in Isfahan and a $2 billion contract to build the Bakhtiari hydroelectric power plant, Korea JoongAng Daily reported.
    These will be the first major contracts won by a South Korean company since GS Engineering & Construction won a gas field development project in South Pars in October 2009, which was before the imposition of western economic sanctions on Iran in 2010.
    Daelim’s advantage is its strong connection with Iran. The contractor maintained four employees in Iran even after the economic sanctions went into effect. That kept its networks going and earned points with Iranian government officials and businesspeople.
    The company is known for having successfully completed the Kangan gas refining building project during the Iran-Iraq War. In 1998, the year that war ended, 10 of its employees were killed in an airstrike by Iraq. The contractor has completed 26 projects worth $4.55 billion in Iran over the past 40 years.
    “Earning and keeping the trust of clients are very important,” a Daelim spokesman said. “No matter what happened, it was important for us to finish our jobs there. We have been carefully monitoring what is going on in Iran and we are happy to resume our partnership with the country this time.”
    Daelim is not the only company with such a history. Contractors like Hyundai, Daewoo, Samsung and GS have similar experiences. They also maintained offices in Iran all through the sanctions, even though they couldn’t do any business, to keep up their connections. Now, they’re poised for new contracts.
    Earlier this year, the Iranian government announced the launch of large construction projects totaling 214 trillion won ($186 billion) through 2020. The big opportunities are in construction, automobiles, information technology and consumer goods.
    Iran is poised to grow faster than most countries in the Middle East, thanks to its nuclear accord with the international community and its enormous oil and gas reserves.
    “Korean companies and Iran are expected to carry out new deals as early as the second half of this year,” said Kim Hyung-keun, a researcher at NH Investment & Securities.
    “Major contractors that have experience in Iran will try to penetrate sectors they are strong in. Daelim will knock on the doors of the gas and oil refining companies, while Hyundai will look into power plant projects and Daewoo will focus on industrial infrastructure.”
    Construction is the most promising sector.
    According to the International Contractors Association of Korea, Korean companies completed projects worth $1.2 billion through 2009 and Korean builders could win projects of up to $20 billion in the next few years, nearly twice the size of contractors’ overseas orders, which hit $11.8 billion as of last month, a 44% drop from a year earlier.
    Last year, South Korea only won $46.1 billion worth of projects, the lowest amount since 2007, mainly due to shrinking demand in the Middle East.

     Ambitious Lineup

    Hyundai Engineering is close to signing a framework agreement on the Iranian South Pars Gas Field’s Phase 12 extension work worth $3.6 billion.
    Hyundai and Posco Daewoo are trying to join a project for building a 1,000-bed hospital for Shiraz University of Medical Sciences worth $500 million.
    Now that sanctions are removed, Iran is preparing to export more crude oil. According to industry data, Iran currently has 30 to 50 million barrels of oil ready to be shipped.
    The Iranian government said in April that it will increase its daily crude oil exports from 2 million barrels to 4 million barrels until next March. That policy will positively impact South Korean oil refiners, as the average international oil price is expected to fall.
    In January and February, South Korea imported twice as much crude oil from Iran than it did last year and that significantly helped oil refiners improve their profits.
    Korea’s No. 1 oil refiner, SK Innovation, reported 844.8 billion won operating profit in the first quarter, a 153.2% rise from a year earlier. Iranian crude is about $2.5 cheaper per barrel than Saudi crude.
    Korean automakers like Hyundai Motor, which is sending its president, Chung Jin-haeng, as a member of President Park Geun-hye’s delegation, expect to resume their partnership with Iran.
    “Car sales in Iran shrank from 2011’s 1.7 million units to 1.1 million units in 2014, but we believe that the market will grow in the future, as the country’s overall economy is expected to boom,” said Hwang Kwan-sik, a spokesman for the carmaker.
    Joo Won, a researcher at Hyundai Research Institute, said opportunities in consumer goods like cosmetics and electronics, as well as airlines, will be seen in Iran.
    “The most important key to successfully launching businesses will be financing. The Korean and Iranian governments need to seriously discuss how they will support businesses,” he said.

     Posco to Export Technology

    Pohang-based multinational steelmaker Posco is looking to enter the Iranian market through exports of its proprietary technologies.
    Since the inauguration of current CEO Kwon Oh-joon, the company has raced to procure new sources of revenue through sales of self-developed technology like Finex and Compact Endless Cast & Rolling Mill.
    In March, the company formalized plans to begin selling its steelmaking technologies, engineering models and management systems during its 48th general shareholders meeting.
    Under this new business model, Posco will collect royalties from steelmakers who make direct use of their technology, as well as part of the revenue from orders won by companies using their management systems. Posco also expects to profit by dispatching its engineers to overseas facilities.
    The company’s decision comes amid saturation in the global steel market. Having determined only so much profit can be made from the sale of steel products, it is looking to capitalize on the wealth of technology it has accumulated through 48 years of constant research and development.
    This February, Posco signed a memorandum of understanding with Iran’s Pars Kohan Diar Parsian Steel (PKP) to tap into the country’s high-potential market. Under the agreement, it will build a plant with an annual production capacity of 1.6 million tons in Iran’s Chabahar free economic zone.
    The project will be carried out in two stages, with the first involving construction of an integrated steel mill using Finex and CEM technology. The second stage will involve the addition of a cold rolling mill and a continuous galvanizing line.
    Posco aims to break ground on the plant within the first half of next year, with commercial production slated to begin in 2018.
    The MoU also involves Posco transferring its innovative steelmaking technology, which combines Finex and CEM, to its Iranian partner.
    Posco’s subsidiaries are partnering with South Korean companies to ease the multinational steelmaker’s entry into the Iranian market.
    Posco Daewoo, along with Hyundai Engineering & Construction, signed a deal with Iran’s Ministry of Health and Medical Education to build a hospital for Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, one of the country’s top medical schools. Posco Daewoo will supply medical equipment, while Hyundai will be responsible for construction.
    Posco Energy, in cooperation with the Korea Electric Power Corporation, Posco and PKP, recently signed an MoU for an off-gas power plant and desalination project in Iran. Posco Energy and Kepco will be in charge of operating and maintaining the plant and desalination facility, while Posco will oversee their construction.

  • Saudi Billionaire Prince Plans Investments in Egypt Hotels

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    Saudi Arabian billionaire Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal will team with Egyptian developer Talaat Moustafa Group to invest $800 million in Egyptian hotel projects, one of the largest planned injections of foreign cash since Egypt embarked upon a major economic reform program.

    Talal’s Kingdom Holding Co. and TMG plan to expand the Sharm el-Sheikh Four Seasons resort on the Red Sea and build new two hotels, at El Alamein on the north coast of Egypt and at Madinaty in Cairo, the Ministry of Investment and International Cooperation said in an emailed statement. Talaat Moustafa said in a filing to the Egyptian exchange that it is studying the projects.


    “This is a global investor and he compares between places to decide where to invest,” Investment Minister Sahar Nasr told reporters in Cairo. “He sees that the business environment is now attractive and he is committed to investing in Egypt.”

    Egypt has said it hopes to exceed its $10 billion target for foreign direct investment this year, after taking a series of steps meant to restore investor confidence, including easing currency restrictions and cutting subsidies in a successful bid to win a $12 billion International Monetary Fund loan. The government sees investments by the world’s 48th-richest man, with a net worth of $18.7 billion according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, as a positive signal about its economy that would draw in more cash.

    Boosting tourism is a key component of Egypt’s economic recovery program. The industry has been battered by the bombing of a Russian passenger plane over Sharm in 2015 that killed all 224 people aboard, and by other militant attacks on security forces and civilian targets.

  • Sina Holding plans $500m investment bank for Iran

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    Iran’s Sina Financial and Investment Holding Company plans to launch a new investment bank this year with a target size of $500 million by 2021, its CEO has revealed.

    The Tehran-based holding group offers financial leasing and insurance services related to commodities, funds and stocks and shares.

    CEO and board member Behzad Golkar told Arabian Business on Wednesday that Sina had applied for permission from the government to open a new investment bank in Iran.

    He said the group has also begun courting international banks in an attempt to find a shareholder based outside of Iran with whom to partner and access global investment markets.

    Under the plans, the bank would be seeded with an initial $100 million, with a target to grow to $500 million within the next five years.

    It would seek to invest in capital markets in Iran and beyond, with Golkar saying that the partner bank would help Sina to form “a bridge” into foreign markets.

    The board has decided on a name for the new investment bank – it will fall under Sina Holding’s branding – but Golkar declined to reveal the exact name until the plans are approved by government.

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    It is understood that current restrictive rules related to financial custodianship in Iran would have to be amended before the bank can be incorporated.

    However, Golkar said Sina Holding is eyeing a launch by mid-2016.

    The group has also launched two €50 million funds targeting the UK and Germany, Golkar said.

    One is a fixed income fund and the other is a liquidity fund, and both are open-ended.

    Sina Holding has advisors in both the UK and Germany that are helping to raise the money. It is targeting a 20 percent rate of return for each.

  • Singapore, Iran ink bilateral treaty on investment

     

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    Iswaran signs agreement in Tehran as part of effort to explore business opportunities


    Singapore has moved quickly to sign an investment treaty with oil-rich Iran to support Singapore firms investing in an economy that is emerging after the recent lifting of global sanctions.

    The treaty offers a legal framework to protect investors and promote bilateral investments.

    Minister for Trade and Industry (Industry) S. Iswaran signed an Agreement on Reciprocal Promotion and Protection of Investments, also known as a bilateral investment treaty, with Iran's Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs Ali Tayyebnia in Teheran yesterday.

    Singapore is the second country, after Japan, to sign a bilateral investment treaty with the Middle Eastern nation after international sanctions were lifted in mid-January.

    "We are here now to deepen the economic collaboration between our two countries," Mr Iswaran told the media after the ceremony.

    "We see significant opportunities to do so because of the size of the market in Iran and in the region, and the capabilities of the people.

    "For Iranian businesses, there are interesting opportunities in Singapore and through Singapore into South-east Asia and the larger market of Asia," he added.

    Mr Iswaran arrived in Teheran on Sunday for a three-day visit to explore new business and investment opportunities. His trip coincides with a one-week mission by the Singapore Business Federation (SBF) to the Iranian capital.

    Mr Iswaran also met Iranian Minister of Industries and Business Mohammad Reza Nematzadeh and Minister of Cooperatives, Labour and Social Welfare Ali Rabiei.

    With this agreement, Singapore investments will be treated as favourably in Iran as any other investments - foreign or local. And businesses can transfer capital and returns between the two countries without obstacles.

    The treaty also provides Singapore investors with the option to resolve investment disputes through international arbitration.

    The Ministry of Trade and Industry said Singapore's bilateral trade with Iran was $6.6 billion in 2011, before the sanctions were imposed. It fell to $2.6 billion in 2012, after the sanctions kicked in. Last year, trade stood at $171.4 million, with Singapore exporting $158 million worth of goods to Iran, while imports from Iran to Singapore amounted to $13.4 million.

    Singapore firms have shown renewed interest in the oil-rich country, which is just re-opening its doors after a prolonged period of under-investment.

    A total of 51 firms from various sectors, including oil and gas, petrochemicals, logistics and information communications technology, have been in Teheran since last Friday, gaining first-hand knowledge about the business environment and investment opportunities.

    This is the SBF's fifth delegation to Iran, and the largest group that it has taken to the Middle East so far.

    The delegation comprises two main groups - companies that were previously doing business in Iran and are now seeking to re-establish dealings after the lifting of the sanctions, and companies that are completely new to the market.

    "Singapore companies are known for our quality, reliability and the service we deliver... but competition is greater than before and others are running very fast," said Mr Teo Siong Seng, SBF chairman and leader of the business mission.

    Singapore businesses are facing stiff competition from South Korean and European companies, which are pursuing deals in Iran, he noted.

    According to the Teheran Times, South Korea on Sunday signed a memorandum of understanding with Iran to provide €5 billion (S$7.7 billion) in financing for infrastructure, development and manufacturing projects in the country.

    Many of these businesses tend to be bold and are willing to put in huge investments. Singapore companies, however, tend to be more careful, said Mr Teo.

    "We could start in a smaller way, but we should start to see some activities going forward," he added.

  • Spain to build hotel chain in Iran


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    By Fatemeh Shokri & Farzam Vanaki

    Iran is required to attract more than 20 million tourists by 2025 as stipulated in the Sixth Five-Year Economic Development Plan (2016-20).

    This is not an unattainable target in the light of the fact that the country's provinces boast 19 tourist attractions, which are registered on the UNESCO list of world heritage sites, in addition to thousands of natural and historical tourist attractions.

    Although, international sanctions and Western media's negative propaganda have adversely impacted Iran's tourism industry in the past few years, the irresistible attractiveness of the country's tourist resorts have always lured foreign tourists to the country even during the years of stringent embargoes.

    In addition to the large number of tourists currently flocking to Iran's historical and natural sites, scores of political and trade delegations are, at present, being provided accommodation at the country's top hotels as well as facilities for holding meetings with Iranian counterparts, thanks to the removal of the sanctions.

    Although Iranian provinces are equipped with favorable tourism infrastructures, it is a herculean task to address the needs of the increasing number of tourists that have, all of a sudden, decided to visit the country.

    With the growing enthusiasm of foreign tourists to visit Iran, travel agencies have encountered daunting challenges in lodging them or reserving hotel rooms for them.

    To tackle this challenge, Iranian officials plan to convert historical houses into tourist lodgings and build hotels in joint ventures with foreign investors.

    A large number of foreign investment delegations have visited Iran over the past few months for talks in this respect. Due to Spain's considerable experience in the tourism sector, the officials of Iran Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization attach great importance to expanding cooperation with the country.

    This is while, in light of Iran's huge tourism potentials, Spain has decided to seize this opportunity and voiced willingness to participate in the construction of hotels in the Middle Eastern country.

    A little while has elapsed since the visit to Iran by Spanish Minister of Industry, Energy, and Tourism José Manuel Soria López and significant steps have been taken by both sides to forge favorable ties in this respect. Spain has signed a contract with Iran to build a five-star hotel in Mazandaran Province by the end of 2017. This will be the first part of a project by Spain to construct a hotel chain in Iran.

    During his visit, López voiced his country's willingness to construct 300 hotels in Iran. Meliá Hotels InternationalGroup is the Spanish company responsible for building the hotels.

    Commenting on the project in an exclusive interview with Iran Daily, Maria Zarraluqui, the global development managing director of Meliá Hotels International Group, said Iran is a very exciting country with huge tourism potentials and a large number of tourist attractions.

    "This made us absolutely determined to initiate the project in the country. We believe that Iran's tourism potentials as well as Iranian's rich culture will bring a large number of tourists to the country in near future."

    She added given the removal of the sanctions, the ground is fully prepared for initiating the mutual cooperation.

    Commenting on the number of Iranian tourists visiting Spain each year, Zarraluqui said, "I do not know the exact figure. All I know is that Iranians constitute a significant percentage of tourists to Spain."

    She noted that the Spanish people know a great deal about the Iranians and the country's tourist attractions, adding perhaps, they constitute a significant number of tourists to Iran.

    "Following the launching of the first phase of our chain hotels in Mazandaran Province, we plan to construct hotels in other Iranian provinces such as East Azarbaijan, Tehran, Gilan, Khorasan Razavi and Isfahan."

     

     

    Regional tourism hub

    ----------------------------

    Speaking on the sidelines of the ceremony to sign the agreement between Iran and Spanish company for constructing the hotels, Carlos Aragon Gil de la Serna, the deputy head of the mission at the Spanish Embassy in Tehran, said Iran is capable of turning into a regional tourism hub in the near future.

    "He added relations between Iran and Europe are at their peak. Following the July 14 nuclear accord between the country and P5+1, ties are strengthening."

    Iran is interested in competing with its international rivals in the field of tourism and constructing quality hotels across its provinces, Serna stressed, adding the country would soon turn into the region’s main trade and tourism destination.

    "Our aim is to increase our trade volume with Iran in the coming years."

    According to the envoy, international investors are interested in business with Iran in various sectors including tourism.

    Serna further described the construction of qualified hotels as an essential requirement for investment in tourism industry.

    The envoy further said Iran’s ties with the EU have improved since President Hassan Rouhani assumed office in 2013.

     

     

    Hotels for all social classes

    -----------------------------------

    In another exclusive interview with Iran Daily, Sirous Etemadi, a member of the Iranian Tour Operator Association, put the annual number of tourists visiting Iran at 4.5 million, adding, efforts are underway to increase the figure to more than 20 million by 2025.

    He said due to the row between Turkey and Russia, there is growing probability that Iran would replace Turkey as a destination for Russian tourists.

    Etemadi added, "Given its high tourism capacities, Iran will soon turn into a regional tourism hub. A tsunami of tourists is headed for Iran."

    He further underline that the country faces a serious challenge in providing accommodation for the growing number of tourists.

    The head of Iran Cultural Heritage, Handcrafts and Tourism Organization, Masoud Soltanifar, he said has predicted that Iran is required to increase the number of its five- and four-star hotels to 400 in the next 10 years.

    "There are about 1,100 hotels across the country, of which only 130 are four- and five-star. Although we are required to build luxury hotels, we should not forget about other [low-income] classes of our tourists."

    He stressed that in addition to being a regional tourism hub, Iran is an important scientific center.

    A large number of university students visit the country annually to carry out their research activities, Etemadi said, adding they need cheap but clean lodgings.

    Tourism industry fetched Iran about at least $6.1 billion during the year to mid-March 2015.

     

     

  • Spain, Denmark to invest in iran's petchem industry

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    An NPC official has announced that two Spanish and Danish firms have voiced readiness to participate and invest in Iran's petrochemical industry.

    Director for Investment of National Petrochemical Company (NPC) Hossein Alimorad, while describing the latest status of negotiations with new developmental partners in the country's petrochemical industry, said "following the talks with German banks and firms on reopening a three-billion-euro Line of Credit (LOC), similar dialogues have been conducted with companies from Spain and Denmark."

    "SERCOBE (Spanish National Association of Capital Goods Manufacturers) has expressed willingness to partake in the Iranian industry," noted the official asserting "reopening of new LOCs remains as one axis of talks with the Spanish side."

    He stressed that talks have begun to determine timespan of joint cooperation estimating that final agreement will be soon reached with SERCOBE.

    A high-ranking SERCOBE official, on the sidelines of a meeting with NPC authorities in Tehran, had voiced his company's eagerness to provide Damavand Petrochemical Company with long-term financing.

    Alimorad also elaborated on the held talks with Haldor Topsøe, as the largest chemical industry company of Denmark, explaining "three issues have so far been dealt with in the course of negotiations with the Danish firm."

    "The three axis of talks include transfer of technical knowledge, investment and finanicng," said the official reiterating that Haldor Topsøe has expressed readiness to continue its participation in Iran's petrochemical industry.

    Earlier on the sidelines of K Trade Fair 2016, the world's premier fair for the plastics and rubber industry in Germany, Managing Director of the National Petrochemical Company (NPC) Marzieh Shah-Daei and Director general of the Association of Petrochemical Industry Corporations (APIC) Ahmad Mahdavi held talks with top officials of Haldor Topsoe over investment, knowledge and technology transfer and the supply of Iran’s petrochemical projects with licenses.

    On the basis of the negotiations, the Danish firm expressed readiness to participate in new projects for production of urea, ammonia and methanol in Iran’s petchem industry.

  • Spanish companies eyes to invest in Iran

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    Spanish Secretary of State for Trade met and talked with Mohammad Khazaei, President of Organization for Investment, Economic and Technical Assistance of Iran.
     
    Mohammad Khazaei pointed to the potential for high investment in Iran and added  Spain is willing to invest in Iran's insurance coverage with no limitation.
    Mutual economic cooperation, investment in automobile parts, tourism industry, petrochemicals, oil and gas, and financial cooperation, particularly insurance coverage, were among the issues discussed in the meeting, he said.The volume of bilateral trade has declined since 2011 and we are trying to increase the volume of trade relations to $3 billion,he added.
    Spain's economy is a great economy and it is necessary that the two countries' banks, which did not work together for a long time, become familiar with each other to facilitate investment, Khazaei stressed.
    It was agreed that Spain's banking board would begin serious negotiations to renew relationships and facilitate financial transactions with the banking system of our country, he added.
    In the meeting, García-Legaz, Spanish Secretary of State for Trade, expressed his country's interest to expand economic cooperation and investment with Iran.
    Spain is ready to cover the funding needed to provide investment in Iran, he stated, adding: the financial measures are scheduled to take place from October.
    Investment in petrochemical sphere is important to us, because we have strong companies that currently operate in various countries including America, García-Legaz stressed.

  • Swiss MSC to expand services to Iran

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    Switzerland's MSC - the world's second largest shipping company - plans to expand its services to Iran.

    Iran said on Sunday that the world’s second largest shipping company MSC from Switzerland will soon expand its services to the country’s ports.

    Iran’s Ministry of Roads and Urban Development in a statement said an agreement had been signed with the MSC by means of which the global shipping giant will increase calls to Iran’s Bandar Abbas, Chabahar and Bandar Imam ports.

    The agreement – that has been signed with the Ports and Maritime Organization Iran - will also facilitate the shipment of Iranian goods from international ports to the country through MSC.   

    This came at a time that Swiss President Johann Schneider-Ammann is in Iran on a landmark three-day visit.   

    The media reported in January that the MSC had started calling at the country’s southern ports after a hiatus of six years.

    This came after an MSC container ship has docked at Shahid Rajaie port in the Persian Gulf coastal city of Bandar Abbas.

    Iran’s shipping industry became the target of a series of US-led sanctions over the past few years that disrupted the traffic of ships to the country’s ports.

    Those sanctions were officially removed last July when Iran and P5+1 group of countries – the five permanent members of the Security Council plus Germany - marked a milestone with their conclusion of nuclear negotiations.

    Iran relies on container and bulk carriers to transport much of its basic needs, including food and consumer goods. Those willing to risk the liability associated with the Iran trade faced further deterrents as they could not get insurance coverage.

  • Swiss Team, CBI Examine Roadmap

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    The governor of the Central Bank of Iran has called on the government of Switzerland to help introduce Iran’s banking sector to Swiss business leaders and entrepreneurs to help build cooperation between the two countries in the post-sanctions era.
    Pointing to the banking relations between the two sides in the past, including during the nuclear-related international sanctions, Valiollah Seif welcomed the resumption of bilateral ties to the pre-sanctions level.
    During a meeting with a Swiss economic delegation at the CBI headquarters in Tehran, Seif asked Swiss authorities to remove Iran from the list of countries that allegedly finance terrorism.  
    “In light of the anti-terrorism bill passed by the Majlis we ask Switzerland to take the necessary measures to remove Iran from the list of states (accused of) sponsoring terrorism and the high-risk countries,” the CBI website quoted him as saying late Saturday.
    Iran’s Parliament passed a bill in February 2010 to counter terrorism financing, but due to some flaws, the Guardian Council –a vetting body which oversees the passage of laws -- sent the proposal to the judiciary to resolve some aspects it said were ambiguous. The amended bill is still pending final approval.
    “We suggest regular meetings between the two countries’ banks to familiarize you with Iran’s progress in anti-money laundering measures and enhance banking ties,” Seif said.

      Anti-Money Laundering Agreements
     Iran’s anti-money laundering initiatives, consists of about 45 technical ordinances concerning banks, insurances, stock market, customs and notary publics. Iran has also signed six anti-money laundering agreements with other countries to share knowledge and experience in relevant fields.
    Seif said Iranian banks have been trying to improve their operations in accordance with international standards, including Basel II and III. “The Majlis has also ratified anti-money laundering laws and laws against financing terrorism.”
    Basel II is an international business standard that requires financial institutions to maintain enough cash reserves to cover risks incurred by operations. Basel III is a comprehensive set of reform measures designed to improve the regulation, supervision and risk management within the banking sector.
    Seif noted that some of the terms in Iran’s nuclear accord with the six world powers last July need to be clarified .“The central bank has formed a special committee to clarify any misunderstanding about the nuclear agreement concerning banking relations with Iran.”
    The Swiss delegates may refer to this committee should they have any questions, Seif said.

      Issues Clarified
    René Weber, Swiss Head of Markets Division at the State Secretariat for International Finance told the meeting that his country is keen on enhancing ties with Iranian banks and provide training and technical knowledge as well as boost cooperation in legal and financial areas.
    “In the meetings so far many issues have been clarified,” he said, welcoming Seif’s proposal for holding joint meetings.  “Such events can help expand corresponding banking relations between the Iran and Switzerland.”
    Weber invited CBI officials to visit Switzerland to prepare the grounds for normalization of banking relations between the two sides.
    A delegation of Swiss officials, led by President Johann Schneider-Ammann arrived in Tehran Saturday for an official visit. The two countries released a joint statement on Saturday, outlining a roadmap to expand cooperation.
    It set out the details of the roadmap in 13 articles covering a wide range of areas, including politics, trade and finance, transport, agriculture, tourism, science, research and technology, environment, human rights, migration and consular relations.

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

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