Economy, Business And Markets

NPC Looking to Create Investment Fund

NPC Looking to Create  Investment Fund NPC Looking to Create  Investment Fund

The National Petrochemical Company is in talks with the Securities and Exchange Organization to set up an investment fund, NPC's vice president said on Saturday, as the industry looks to expand its operations and negate years of under investment.

The fund is intended to finance projects with "good returns". However, there are obstacles to this plan and development may be slow.

"Most projects need foreign exchange financing, therefore, most of the investment plans depend on the availability and attraction of money from the National Development Fund (NDF) and foreigners," said Mohammad Hassan Peivandi.

Currently there are $70 billion worth of unfinished petrochemical projects in Iran, of which $40 billion are in the second phase of the South Pars gas field. The remaining $30 billion are for the expansion of industry during the next decade.

Peivandi said an investment fund in petrochemical sector will work like Iran's sovereign wealth fund, the NDF.  However, the private investors and listed companies could invest in the fund.

Highlighting the importance of foreign exchange financing for the fund, he said, "Foreign exchange funding must become available if this mechanism is to work. The oil minister believes finance is key to carrying out big projects."

Fuel and Finance

The National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) and its subsidiaries are exploring new avenues for attracting investments, from selling bonds through banks to forward selling heating oil in Iran Energy Exchange (IRENEX) to raise production levels that have fallen due to a combination of sanctions and under investment in the industry.

The NIOC is raising 50 trillion rials ($1.7 billion at official rates) by selling Mosharekat sukuk – Islamic bonds – via the banking system from June 22 to finance expansion plans in the oil industry, according to its chief executive Rokneddin Javadi.

As a novel way to raise funds, the oil giant plans to raise three trillion rials ($103.63 million) through the sale of Mazut Salaf securities in six 500-billion-rial batches. The two first batches were sold in IRENEX.

The NIOC is waiting for Securities and Exchange Organization to allow further sales.