Iran

Iran to set up intl. insurance firm

An order for setting up an international insurance company aiming to overcome global sanctions in this field was issued by the finance and economic affairs ministry of Iran.
On 26 July, the European Union imposed sanctions on Iran, hitting the energy, transport, finance and insurance sectors, as well as expanding the number of ""listed"" individuals and entities with whom commercial dealings are prohibited.

Islamic finance liquidity body to issue sukuk in '11

A new global Islamic liquidity management corporation backed by central banks will start issuing Islamic bonds next year to help Islamic banks manage their liquidity.
The Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB) said in October it would set up the International Islamic Liquidity Management Corporation to issue sharia-compliant instruments.
The liquidity management company will be backed by 11 central banks, including Malaysia, Iran and Turkey and some Gulf states and is expected to have up to $1 billion in authorised capital.

Bank Melli Iran rejects rumors on bankruptcy

The financial manager of Bank Melli Iran (BMI) has refuted the rumors on declaring bankruptcy by the bank, saying BMI is the largest bank in Iran and across the Islamic world, considering its total assets of around $54 billion. A report released in September, 2009 by Asian Banker showed that the world's top 100 Islamic banks increased their assets by 66% last year to more than $580 billion, compared to $350 billion in 2007, while rivals were trying to deal with the global financial downturn. According to the survey, BMI was standing at the top of the world's top 100 Islamic banks list in terms of assets, while Saudi Arabia's Al Rajhi Bank came in second, Press TV reported.

Iran plan up to USD 12.3 bn in bonds

Hashem Kalantari reported in Forbes that Iran plans to issue USD 12.3 bn of foreign currency and rial-denominated bonds over the next three years to help finance the development of its major South Pars gas field in the Gulf.

Central Bank of Iran Supports Cooperatives Bank

Governor of Central Bank of Iran (CBI)Central Bank of Iran (CBI) Mahmoud Bahmani has promised to supply the initial capital for the establishment of Cooperatives Development Bank. Managing Director of Cooperatives Fund Mashallah Azimi told Mehr News Agency that the proposed bank would start operation this year.

OIC Member States' Stock Exchanges Forum in Teheran took place

Beginning of May the OIC Member States' Stock Exchanges Forum took place in Teheran, which was themed: enhancing cooperation among the Islamic countries' Exchanges.

Iran allows foreign bank branches: Citibank and Goldman Sachs among the first applicants

Iran welcomes foreign banks to establish branches in the country and engage in normal banking operations. According to Presstv, Article 44 of the Constitution had heretofore placed banking activities exclusively in the hands of government. In tandem with the Law on Usury Free Banking Operations, these two measures effectively blocked foreign banking operations from conducting business in the mainland.

With the long-awaited privatization law having already come into force in the summer of 2008, allowing the normal functioning of foreign banks in Iran is viewed as a major economy boosting initiative by the Central Bank of Iran (CBI). The rules for regulating the activity of foreign banks are set forth in four parts and 13 articles in the decree dated March 18, 2009 by the Council of Ministers and titled The Executive Bylaw of the Manner of Establishment and Operations of Foreign Bank Branches in Iran. The minimum capital for establishing a foreign bank branch in Iran is 5 million euros.

Under the new circumstances, four US banks, including Citibank and Goldman Sachs, have applied for opening a branch in Iran. The banks made a formal request to the CBI to establish a branch.

Floatation of Bank Mellat faces difficult market environment

Fredrik Dahl and Parisa Hafezi reported on 18 February in Forbes about the floatation of a 5 % stake in Bank Mellat, Iran. Market environment was not supportive with a fall of 30 % of share prices since last August.

A Tehran Stock Exchange (TSE) official said investors bought 340 million, or around 52 percent, of the 655 million Bank Mellat shares on offer, and suggested the price had been set too high in view of the difficult market conditions.

Iran's economy is dominated by the state but the government has been seeking to speed up privatisations after the constitution was changed to encourage the sale of assets.

Iran is privatizing banks

Iran plans to offer 5 % of Bank Mellat to private investors to study the demand and interest from buyers. Bank Mellat, Iran's second-largest bank after state-owned Bank Melli, is estimated to have a share of around 15 % of the country's banking industry.

It is said two other state banks - Tejarat and Saderat - were next in line to be partly sold off.

Iran: Cooperative Development Bank planned

Iran Daily reported on 1 February that the director of Iran Privatization Organization (IPO) has said the organization plans to establish the first-ever cooperative development bank.

Iran - Insurance Bank planned

Iran Daily reported on 15 January that an insurance bank in Iran is proposed by Iran Insurance Company. Mohammad Javad Sahamian Moqaddam told Fars News Agency that the proposed bank will be set up after implementation the insurance laws.

"First Persia Fund" to invest in Iranian Stock Exchange

Business Intelligence reported on 14 April that the "First Persia Equity Fund", opened its second-phase of subscription and it aims to raise Euro 250 m, the fund was established in July 2007 with Euro 34 mn.

Shares listed on the Teheran Stock Exchange, TEPIX, which advanced 3.9% so far this year, trade at an average of 4 or 5 times earnings. That compares to a multiple of 15 for the MSCI GCC Countries Index, a measure of more than 140 companies in six GCC states.

Stephen Austen is the fund's Managing Director. The fund is said to have outperformed the benchmark so far.

Source: http://www.bi-me.com/main.php?c=3&cg=2&t=1&id=19192

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