Economy, Domestic Economy

Iran Fara Bourse to List 14 Cooperatives

Iran Fara Bourse to List 14 CooperativesIran Fara Bourse to List 14 Cooperatives

Fourteen cooperatives will soon be listed on the Iran Fara Bourse over-the-counter market, an official with the Ministry of Cooperatives, Labor and Social Welfare said.

Alireza Nateqi added that these cooperatives have 1 trillion rials in capital and six million stakeholders, Boursepress reported.

Listing cooperatives on exchanges is a new initiative put forth by the Labor Ministry to help the sector expand its influence in the economy.

A cooperative refers to a firm owned, controlled and operated by a group of users for their own benefit. Each member contributes equity capital and shares in the control of the firm on the basis of one-member, one-vote principle (and not in proportion to his or her equity contribution).

Article 44 of Iran’s Constitution stipulates a 25% share for Iran’s cooperatives in gross domestic product. However, this share now barely exceeds 5%, officials say.

The ministry had been working with the Securities and Exchange Organization on regulations to allow the listing of cooperatives on an exchange. Last week, the SEO unveiled regulations regarding the matter. Cooperatives are to be listed on IFB.

SEO regulations will give publicly owned cooperatives the opportunity to sell shares and also allow owners to liquidate their stakes more easily.

Based on the regulations, the maximum stake any company or individual can hold in IFB-listed cooperatives is capped. Public companies can own up to 10% of a listed cooperative while private companies can own half of that. Individual ownership of listed cooperatives is capped at half a percent.

About 170,000 jobs have been created by 14,200 cooperatives established since President Hassan Rouhani took office in August 2013, according to deputy minister of cooperatives, labor and social welfares, Hamid Kalantari.

Kalantari said the total number of jobs in Iran’s cooperative sector stands at 1.65 million, of which 52% pertain to manufacturing cooperatives, 19% to distributors and 29% to those engaged in services.  

Commodities worth more than $1.7 billion were exported by the cooperatives sector in the last fiscal year (March 2015-16).