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Regulator Restricts Big Share Dividends

The Securities and Exchange Organization (SEO) has imposed new restrictions to discourage giant listed companies from offering large-scale share offers.

SEO has approved a decision based on which big holding companies cannot pay dividends over and above 20%of their income from share sales, the Securities and Exchange News Agency reported.

it said the big companies must transfer the rest of the income to their “reserve accounts” for future needs, namely for raising capital.

Q1 GDP Growth at 3.8%: SCI

Iran’s GDP grows by 3.8% in the first quarter of the current fiscal year (started March 21) compared with the corresponding period of last year, the Statistical Center of Iran said in its latest report.

Without taking crude oil production into account, economic growth stood at 4.3%, the report added.

According to SCI, the agriculture sector contracted by 0.8% in Q1 as the “industries and mines” and “services” grew by 4.2% and 3.9% respectively.

The center earlier put fiscal 2021-22 growth at 4.3%, saying GDP saw a 3.5% rise without taking crude oil production into account and that the sectors of agriculture, industries and services experienced a -3.7%, 6% and 4.5% growth respectively.

Online Gold Trade to Be Legalized: Gov’t

The Ministry of Industry, Mine and Trade in collaboration with the relevant unions will soon start issuing license for gold trade on the internet.

According to Alireza Shahmirzaei, a deputy minister, the aim is to replace unauthorized trade, as is taking place in social media platforms, with authorized websites that will be licensed soon, Tasnim news agency quoted Shahmirzaei as saying.

On concerns over legalizing online trading of the yellow metal, the official said, “The concerns must be studied in detail. Yes, they opponents do say that they are worried about people’s money, but their real intention could be something else.”

Iran's Trade With SCO Rises 31% YOY to Top $17b During 5 Months: IRICA

Iran and member states of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization traded 21.41 million tons of goods (excluding crude oil from Iran) worth $17.05 billion during the first five months of the current Iranian year (March 21-Aug. 22) to register a 31% increase compared with the similar period of last year, according to the Islamic Republic of Iran Customs Administration.

Iran’s exports (excluding crude oil) stood at 17.38 million tons worth $9.08 billion, which indicate a 10% rise in value compared with the similar period of last year, IRICA Spokesman Rouhollah Latifi was quoted as saying by IRNA.

“China was our biggest export destination among SCO member countries during the period, as the country imported $6.72 billion worth of Iranian products to register a 14% year-on-year rise.”

Iran Gov’t Guaranteed Wheat Purchases Exceed 7m Tons Worth $2.6 Billion

The Iranian government has purchased 7.15 million tons of wheat worth 827.86 trillion rials ($2.6 billion) domestically from the beginning of the harvest season on March 24 till Sept. 14, registering a 58% rise in tonnage compared with the similar period of last year, according to CEO of the Government Trading Corporation.

“The value of this year’s purchases exceeds that of the years 2017-21, which stood at an aggregate of 812.03 trillion rials $2.55 billion,” Saeed Rad was also quoted as saying by ILNA.

This year, guaranteed purchases started from the provinces of Sistan-Baluchestan, Kerman and Khuzestan — all in southern Iran.

MRC Delves Into Impervious Problem of Unpaid Forex Loans

The Majlis Research Center (MRC), the parliament’s think tank, says the National Development Fund of Iran must resist calls for partial payment by all those who have taken out forex loans.

In a report posted on its website, the MRC said collecting forex debt has long been a big challenge for the sovereign wealth fund.

The bad situation has become worse due to the sanctions-plagued economy and huge fluctuations in currency rates in the past decades. Over the past few months forex rates have jumped to historic levels.

NDFI is independent of the government and was set up in 2011 to curb dependency on oil and save a percentage of the earnings from oil and gas exports for future generations.

New Restrictions on Loans to Bank-Affiliated Companies

The Central Bank of Iran has announced new measures to prevent banks from giving loans to related persons, head of the CBI department for banking health assessment said.

"Rules include caps on bank lending to related persons. The value of every loan paid to subsidiaries or related persons must not exceed 3% of the bank’s base capital. Moreover, the collective amounts lent to related persons must not exceed 40% of the bank capital," Ali Akbar Miremadi was quoted as saying by IBENA.

Subsidiaries and affiliated companies are considered as a bank’s related entities. However, "henceforth shareholders of the bank, affiliated companies or any person that can impact the board's decision will be seen as related entities to whom bank lending is restricted."

Credit Instruments to Enter IME Trade

The Central Bank of Iran is giving the finishing touches to a plan to tap into the newly-developed credit instruments in trade of commodities at the Iran Mercantile Exchange.

In a meeting with CEOs of state banks, the CBI Governor Ali Salehabadi said the Productive Credit Certificate is one such instrument that would be traded at the IME next week.

Known by its Persian acronym Gam, the certificate is a market-base credit instrument that can be traded in the money and capital markets. Lenders will assist strong businesses by offering tradable credit certificates similar to LCs that can be given to suppliers of raw materials, machinery and equipment.

Iran's Trade With EU Rises by 15% to €2.9 Billion in Seven Months

Iran and the European Union’s 27 member states traded €2.99 billion worth of goods in the first seven months of 2022, registering a 15.43% rise compared with last year's corresponding period.

New data released by Eurostat show Germany was the top trading partner of Iran in the EU region during the period, as the two countries exchanged over €1.05 billion worth of goods, 3.84% more than in the similar period of the year before.

Italy came next with €381.67 million worth of trade with Iran to register a 9.69% year-on-year rise.

The Netherlands with €241.36 million (down 9.18%) and Spain with €210.28 million (up 17.89%) were Iran's other major European trade partners.

ICJ Hearing Case on Iran Assets Frozen by the US

Five Rail Projects Prioritized

The government’s five prioritized rail projects, namely Khash-Zahedan, Bostanabad-Tabriz, Mianeh-Ardabil, Hamedan-Sanandaj and Rasht-Caspian, have made an average progress of 75% and all are expected to come on stream within a year, according to a deputy minister of roads and urban development.

“With the track-laying of Khash-Zahedan coming to an end, this project has been completed and is ready to be launched. The route is a segment of Chabahar-Zahedan railroad and with its inauguration, this mega project moved one step closer to its launch,” Kheirollah Khademi was also quoted as saying by the news portal of the Ministry of Roads and Urban Development.

The official added that the 44-kilometer-long Bostanabad-Tabriz railroad, which is a short cut between the provincial capital of East Azarbaijan Province and Tehran, has so far made 95% progress and will be ready for inauguration within the next few months.

Iran, Qatar Sign ‘World’s Biggest’ Saffron Contract

The world’s biggest contract for saffron trade was signed between Iran and Qatar on Sept 18, in the presence of Iran’s Ambassador in Doha Hamidreza Dehqani-Poudeh and Qatar’s Finance Minister Ali bin Ahmed Al Kuwari.

As per the contract, 200 tons of saffron worth $300 million will be processed and exported from Iran to the neighboring Qatar, with the first consignment scheduled for Oct. 1.

Kuwari said in the meeting that Qatar is ready to cooperate with Iran in processing saffron on par with global standards.

Experts believe this contract is one of a kind and can have positive impact on Iran’s domestic saffron market and help export processed saffron, creating value added for the precious Iranian spice.

Money Issuance Halved

Annual growth of money creation by banks fell 57% in the first five months (March 21-August 22) of the current fiscal year, the Economy Ministry reported.

The ministry said the decline in money issuance was driven largely by the visible weakening of loans given by banks and credit institutions.

Outstanding loans, including both performing and non-performing, registered 8.2% growth in the period. This was significantly lower compared to 19% annual growth in the corresponding period last year, the ministry’s news website reported.

The apparently positive development is “one outcome of the Central Bank of Iran’s policy to exercise tighter control over ban balance sheets”.

Mining Machinery Imports Fail to Meet Domestic Need

Wheat Imports More Than Double to 1.7m Tons This Year: GTC

A total of 1.7 million tons of wheat have been imported by Iran since the beginning of the current Iranian year on March 21, registering a 113% rise compared with the similar period of last year, the Government Trading Corporation of Iran announced on Monday.

GTC, affiliated with the Agriculture Ministry, is in charge of ensuring adequate supply of basic goods, including wheat, rice, cooking oil, sugar and meat, to the local market.

Iran has imported a total of 96.48 million tons of wheat worth more than $22.84 billion over the past 30 years, spokesperson of the Islamic Republic of Iran Customs Administration said recently.

Banks Set to Adopt XBRL for Financial Reporting

The Central Bank of Iran is to announce XBRL (eXtensible Business Reporting Language) standards for financial reporting by banks.

According to the CBI governor Ali Salehabadi, this standard will be tested in one of the banks in February and later other banks will be required to submit their financial reports accordingly, IBENA quoted him as saying.

XBRL is a language for the electronic communication of business and financial data which is revolutionizing the business reporting around the world.