Iran News ...


Dubai's Dragon says Merrill Lynch pull out 'insignificant'

Report by Press TV

A spokeswoman for Merrill said the bank's withdrawal from Dragon oil had been for "internal legal reasons".

Dubai state-controlled Dragon Oil says it is not concerned about the Merrill Lynch decision to cut ties with the oil and gas exploration company.

"It has been there for many years and we lived through it," Dragon Chief Executive Abdul Jaleel Al Khalifa told Reuters.

Dragon oil on Monday announced that it had turned to HSBC, a global bank with headquarters in Britain for advice on its ongoing take over talks.

The investment banking unit of Bank of America, Merrill Lynch had "had to relinquish the mandate following an internal issue with Bank of America," a spokesman at Dragon said.

Sources close to the matter, however, told Reuters that "Merrill had to give it up because of the Iran link."

Although Dragon does not have oil or gas fields in Iran, 90 percent of its production in Turkmenistan reaches the international market through Iran.

Al Khalifa added that the London listed explorer could market its crude through other channels if the Iran option was closed to it. "We have a plan B in place."

Tehran and Washington have had no diplomatic relations for nearly three decades. The two countries severed all ties in 1980 in the aftermath of a US Embassy takeover by revolutionary Iranian students.

In 1996 the Clinton administration, expanded the existing embargo on the import of Iranian petroleum products to encompass extensive bans on investment both by US and non-US companies in Iran.

The Iran and Libya Sanctions Act (ILSA), as it was called, bans foreign speculation in Iranian petroleum development, the export of high technology to Iran, and the import of a wide variety of Iranian products into the United States.

... Payvand News - 08/19/09 ... --

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