TEHRAN, Sept. 19 (Mehr News Agency) - Iran's government withdrew 42.054 trillion rials ($4.7 billion) from the Oil Stabilization Fund (OSF) in the first four months of the current Iranian year (started March 21), the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Finance reported here on Wednesday.
The figure shows a 37 percent fall when compared to that of the same period in previous year which was 66.88 trillion rials ($7.2 billion).
Of the figure, 34.525 trillion rials ($3.7 billion) was earmarked to the construction projects and 4.41 trillion rials ($475.7 million) was drawn from OSF for supporting schools against quake.
The Central Bank of Iran (CBI) announced that the OSF has already $6.3 billion worth of credit.
In June, the U.S. warned that OMV could be the target of the first-ever application of the Iran Sanctions Act if the company's preliminary dealings with Iran led it to invest in the country's energy sector, but Austrian government and companies denied U.S. pressure and OMW chief executive said this company would obey only EU laws not U.S. ones.
Gail and Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) were to partner the project along with the National Iranian Gas Export Company.
The report quoted Gholamhossein Nozari as saying that the rate quoted by Total to market LNG was high and as a result the government may have to reconsider the feasibility of the deal.
Mouvement des Citoyens Party Leader Jean-Pierre Chevenement criticized Kouchner recommendation to the French companies not to conclude any agreements with Iran.
"Iran has huge natural gas resources like Russia, and without Iran-Russia gas, the future of European energy supplies will be at risk," Chevenement added.
Talking to MNA, Ali Taheri added that the 1.146 trillion rials ($123 million) investment of 14 more companies is also under study.
He said that the construction of container terminals, warehouses, silos, packaging and sorting, oil products' tanks, fuel supply for ships, transit terminals, and the loading and unloading equipment are the main fields that the private sector shows its eagerness to invest.
Given the 301 billion rials ($32.4 million) worth of five companies' investment, the Imam Khomeini Port stood first in attracting investment, Taheri added.
He added that the ports of Amirabad, Chabahar, and Fereydunkenar followed the Imam Khomeini Port by attracting respectively for and three companies' investment.
The ports of Khorramshahr, Anzali, and Noshahr have not witnessed the presence of investment companies, said the official.
Talking to MNA, Esmaeil Gholami added that the Post Bank will be firstly privatized.
He said that insurance companies will be offered in Tehran Stock Exchange (TSE) by the end of current Iranian calendar year, (March 19, 2008).
The official added that five percent of the shares of banks and insurance companies will be sold in the TSE.
According to a former report, five percent of shares of three banks of Mellat, Saderat, and Tejarat were to be offered in the TSE by late September.
The privatization will take place in line with enforcement of Article 44 of the Constitution.
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