Economy, Business And Markets

Efforts to Reopen Refineries’ Ticker Symbols

Efforts to Reopen Refineries’ Ticker SymbolsEfforts to Reopen Refineries’ Ticker Symbols

The Securities and Exchange Organization (SEO) is continuing negotiations with the oil ministry and the ministry of economic affairs and finance to reopen the refineries’ ticker symbols on the TSE’s trading board, which have been closed for months, MNA quoted Ali Salehabadi, the SEO chief, as saying on Sunday.

Salehabadi said the SEO is willing to see the refineries back in the equity market again, emphasizing that the listed petrochemical companies and refineries should improve the quality of their gasoline and oil products if they want to see their ticker symbols reopen.

The quality of domestic gasoline is the bone of contention and the main reason behind the months-long absence of refineries from the stock market. Despite numerous meetings held between the refineries’ major shareholders and officials from the SEO and the National Iranian Oil Refining and Distribution Company (NIORDC), the refineries’ ticker symbols are still closed at the Tehran Stock Exchange (TSE) and the Iran Mercantile Exchange (IME).

Meanwhile, a more important factor that made the SEO decide to close those ticker symbols is the ambiguity in the pricing system of refineries’ feedstock. According to the law, the crude oil that refineries receive should be priced based on the crude oil exported during the same month.

The refineries say the NIORDC forces them to buy low-quality crude oil at international market prices. This, the refineries complain, causes technical problems in their facilities while the oil ministry does not count those losses.

None of the refineries have so far been able to present their six-month financial outlook since the current Iranian calendar year started (March 21, 2014), which has led to a widespread dissatisfaction among the shareholders. The refineries say they would be unable to officially announce their gains and losses unless the crisis is resolved.

The disagreement between the SEO and the oil ministry comes as Bijan Zangeneh, the country’s oil minister, said last month that the Rouhani administration had plans to finance a considerable number of its oil projects through oil and petroleum investment funds, to be led by the SEO.

The function of the funds is to increase the long-term value of the company’s shares to the benefit of their shareholders through attracting domestic and global investment for oil, natural gas, and petrochemical projects.