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EghtesadOnline: A total of 231 non-government entities have released financial statements in the past 18 months in line with boosting transparency in the Iranian economy, the head of the Securities and Exchange Organization said.

“In line with the implementation of the privatization law, a total of 1,015 announcements and 425 financial statements have been published by public non-government lenders with the help of the parliament,” Shapour Mohammadi was also quoted as saying by SENA at a press conference held to announce recent measures undertaken by SEO.

Iranian firms, including banks, are increasingly disclosing their information as part of an initiative to enhance transparency.

In early June, the Money and Credit Council, a top financial decision-making body with the Central Bank of Iran–called on state-owned lenders for the first time to make their financial data publicly available, according to Financial Tribune.

As a result, eight state-run lenders currently operating in the country, six of which are specialized banks, will have to release their information from the beginning of the next fiscal year (starting March 21, 2018).

The framework, based on which the lender must publicize their data, had been previously made mandatory for private banks and credit institutions in March 2014, with the goal of “increasing transparency in banks and preparing the grounds for enforcing a general oversight over the banking system in line with the new standards of banking supervision”, as announced by the central bank.

At the press conference, Mohammadi also spoke about banks and the fact that their trade is still halted in the stock market.

“It is unfortunate that the symbols of the banks remain frozen, but we have no problem with reopening their symbols as soon as they provide us with their financial statements,” he said.

A number of banks have yet to hand in their financial statements because their annual shareholders’ meetings had been delayed, partly due to a now-resolved disagreement between the central bank and the Audit Organization over who gets to set financial reporting standards for lenders.

  Other Measures

According to Mohammadi, decreasing bond yields has been one of the measures undertaken by SEO whereby the rates have been brought down to 15% to match bank interest rates.

Undertaking options contracts, which are currently used for shares and coin futures, has also been referred to by the official as another measure.

“Substantial reforms were made in the workings of initial public offerings so that an end could be put to all the problems that had arisen in this regard,” he added.

Mohammadi pointed to fixed income funds that were supported by SEO while 90% of their deposits were made outside the capital market, which number has been reduced to 70%.

“The number must be further decreased to 50% and the other resources must be invested in private sector bonds and state entities,” he added.

The funds were also prohibited from issuing their units in bank branches, meaning that they are only able to sell them at the bank branches.

The official said the plan for reforming capital market rules will be presented to the Cabinet and subsequently to the parliament in the foreseeable future.

Mohammadi referred to the prospect of SEO becoming a full member of the International Organization of Securities Commissions instead of only being an observer member with the regulating body.

“As the change in SEO’s standing with IOSC is at the implementation stage and the team entrusted with approving our report is in the final stages of reviewing it, we hope this goal will be realized soon,” Mohammadi said.

 

Iran economy Shapour Mohammadi Iran Transparency Iran Public Lenders Iran non-government entities