Press TV | June 30, 2008

Iran has announced it will begin to allow foreign firms to purchase Iranian state-run companies, with the possibility of obtaining full ownership.

Iran will allow foreign companies and nationals to purchase unlimited shares of state-run enterprises which are in the process of being sold off, said the director of Iran’s Privatization Company, Gholamreza Heidari Kord Zangeneh.

The move is designed to attract greater foreign investment and is part of the country’s sweeping economic liberalization program.

Iran will no longer make a distinction between domestic and foreign firms that wish to purchase state-run companies — provided that the combined ownership of foreign firms in any given industry does not exceed 35 percent, Kord Zangneh said.

As an example, a foreign firm may purchase an Iranian steel company but it would not be allowed to buy every business enterprise in Iran’s steel industry.

Among the new incentive measures announced, foreign firms may also transfer their annual profit from their Iranian company out of the country in any currency they wish.

Three years after their purchase or investment they may also transfer their original capital out of Iran, Kord Zangeneh said.

In May, Iran approved the purchase of its state-run Razi Petrochemical Company by a Turkish consortium in a bid to further privatize its industries.

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