Economy, Business And Markets

Saderat Charting Bigger Role in Marine Industries

Saderat Charting Bigger Role in Marine IndustriesSaderat Charting Bigger Role in Marine Industries

Bank Saderat Iran and the Iran Marine Fund have signed a memorandum of cooperation according to which the bank will provide loans to marine industries.

The agreement, which took place during a seminar on Sea-Based Development and Funding Challenges held in Kish Island, requires the bank to allocate 450 billion rials ($14.2 million) in loans to Iran’s maritime businesses.

A board member of BSI representing the bank at the event said after the signing of the agreement that international trade is now largely carried out by sea.

“Due to our access to two strategic waterways in the north and the south, our country has a privileged position and an opportunity,” Mohammad Reza Erfani said referring to the Persian Gulf and the Caspian Sea, reported.

Pointing to the abilities and potential of Bank Saderat, he said the bank has made it a priority to equip and upgrade marine transport and “play a more effective role in Iran’s marine industries.”

Early last week, head of the Fund said in cooperation with the Cooperatives Development Bank and Bank Refah, Saderat has agreed to lend 2.1 trillion rials ($66.4 million) to marine industries.

“Marine industries need at least $1 billion a year,” Mehrdad Mozafari, the head of the fund added.

Mozafari who was also present at the Kish event, said the fund is able to support marine industries by way of credits from initial investment, earnings from businesses and the resources of the National Development Fund of Iran.

According to the official, the Fund’s plans to “absorb 2 trillion rials in loans and attract $100 million worth of foreign investment” in the current fiscal year that ends in March 2017.

As Iran ramps up oil exports, securing marine insurance has also been crucial. Top tier western ship insurers have started offering services in recent months.

Iran’s deputy oil minister, Amir Hossein Zamaninia, has said European insurers now have no problem insuring Iranian oil tankers, according to the oil ministry’s news agency SHANA.

Protection and Indemnity (P&I) clubs - marine insurers owned by shipping firms - have started to provide cover for Iran’s shipping fleet, including its oil tankers, Reuters reported.

Norwegian ship insurer Skuld has, among others, said it was in discussions with Iranian cargo ship operator IRISL, while it was already insuring NITC ships.

Others such as the UK’s Standard Club said they were covering vessels trading to and from Iran, but did not say whether this related to Iranian shipping firms.


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