Frozen Assets of Iranian Insurance Firms to Be Freed
Talks are underway for freeing Iranian insurance companies’ frozen assets overseas, the Central Insurance company of Iran’s deputy director for reinsurance said, noting that insurers will receive their money in the near future.
“Insurance firms’ total frozen assets is estimated to be worth $20 million, 5% of which was released through barter deals since the lifting of sanctions in January. Talks are underway for freeing $15 million of the assets,” IBENA quoted Mina Sediq Nouhi as saying on Friday.
“The amount is tentative and insurers may have higher amounts of frozen assets,” she concurred.
The CII has held meetings with foreign insurance firms for restarting collaboration, according the official, “Some major European insurers are working with Iran including Lloyd’s of London, and companies from Germany, France, Switzerland, and the UK.”
“Japanese insurance companies and some companies from eastern Europe have also taken [initial] measures for cooperating with Iran,” she said without elaboration.
Some foreign insurers have expressed interest to invest in Iran, though “plans have not yet been finalized,” Sediq Nouhi added.
Reuters reported last month that western insurers are slowly reaching deals with Iran as they seek to reenter the multi-billion dollar market. This is while the pace of business is hampered by banking restrictions ten months on from the lifting of international sanctions.
Western companies need insurance in order to resume business with Iran. Shipping and trade credit insurance, which remove the risk of non-payment for goods, are the first types of insurance being offered.
Iran’s deputy oil minister, Amir Hussein Zamaninia, has said European insurers now have no problems insuring Iranian oil tankers, according to the Oil Ministry news agency SHANA.
Protection and Indemnity (P&I) clubs - marine insurers owned by shipping firms - have started providing cover for Iran’s shipping fleet, including its oil tankers.