Some 566 trillion rials ($46 billion) worth of shares of Iranian state-run oil and gas companies were transferred to the private sector by August 21, deputy oil minister said on Tuesday.
Some 80 per cent of Iran's refineries excluding the Abadan and Arak refineries have been privatised so far, the IRIB News Agency quoted Mohsen Khojaste-Mehr as saying.
The head of the National Iranian Oil Refining and Distribution Company (NIORDC) Alireza Zeighami said in August that seven of the country's nine oil refineries will be ceded to the private sector by the end of the current Iranian calendar year (March 19, 2012).
"The National Iranian Oil Refining and Distribution Company and its subsidiaries will become privatised. At least 11 companies and refineries will cede their shares to the private sector later this year," said the official.
Zeighami said Isfahan, Bandar Abbas, Tabriz, Shiraz, Kermanshah, Lavan, and Tehran (Shahid Tondgouyan) oil refineries will be transferred to the private sector, but the ownership of Abadan and Arak (Imam Khomeini) oil refineries will remain in government control.
The Iranian deputy oil minister said that domestic and foreign investors can purchase the shares of the refineries through the Privatisation Organisation of Iran.
Last year some 245 trillion rials ($20 billion) in state-owned shares were divested, the Mehr news agency reported in September.
Privatisation of state run entities will be accelerated in the current year. Iran has privatised up to 500 companies during the last six years.
The Government envisioned a large privatisation programme in its 2010-15 five-year plan aiming to privatise some 20 per cent of state-owned firms each year.
The authorities have adopted a comprehensive strategy as reflected in their 20-Year Outlook Plan and the 5th Five-Year Development Plan to ensure the implementation of market based reforms.
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