EghtesadOnline: Bank Melli Iran’s large-cap investment arm, Tosee Melli Group Investment Company, is planning for a major downsizing by selling off shares in 30 companies.
TMGIC’s shares in eight of the 30 companies will be offered on the stock market and the rest will be sold via tenders. The sales are scheduled for Feb. 10.
The publicly listed companies up for sale include a 52.05% stake in Shazand Petrochemical Company, 43.35% in Behshahr Industrial Development Corp., 92.77% in Cement Industry Investment and Development Company, 64.19% in Tosee Melli Group Investment Company, 33.86% in Iran Transfo, 33.33% in Barez Industrial Group, 15.48% in Doodeh Sanati Pars Company and 2.03% in Maskan Investment Company.
The other 22 sales are as follows: 66.99% stake in National Industries and Mining Development Co., 100% in Melli International Building & Industry Co., 50% in Leasing Development Melli Investment Group, 97.09% in Melli Agricultural Development Company, 39.91% in Kashan Velvet and Silk Co., 100% in Sarmayeh Madar Management Services, 14.95% in Iran Power Plant Investment Company, 40% in Pars Agricultural Industrial Co., 46.96% in Arj Corporation, 42.99% in Iran Poplin Co., 72.58% in Melli International Trade Development Co., 35% in Maghsoud Porcelain China, 14.65% in Seamorgh Co., 35% in Tajhizat Madares Iran Company, 49.99% in Tabriz Urmia Highway, 100% in Damash Tarabar Iranian Transportation, 85% in Imen Tarabar Aria Transportation, 100% in Damash Gilan Mineral Water, 81.8% in Madan Shekafan Tehran, 91% in Gilan Nemoone Mosavar Industrial Group, 100% in Tarchin Tabkh Iranian and 98.75% in Gohar Doroud Food Industry, Financial Tribune reported.
TMGIC’s downsizing is Bank Melli’s latest initiative to be less of a business-owner and more of a bank, by adhering to articles 16 and 17 of the law on “removal of obstacles to competitive production and boosting the country’s financial system”, according to TGMIC’s official announcement on www.codal.ir.
The law mandates all banks and financial institutions to privatize at least 33% of their excess assets every year, especially those engaged in “non-banking activities”.
According to Economy Minister Masoud Karbasian, in line with the government’s plan for lenders to do away with excess assets, more than 150 trillion rials ($3.5 billion) worth of bank properties were sold during the fiscal 2016-17.
The government wants lenders to focus primarily on financing the production sector. That can be realized by cleaning up the bank’s excess assets, most of which are either toxic or underperforming.
A committee comprised of representatives of the Economy Ministry, Central Bank of Iran and Audit Organization of Iran has been formed specifically to receive and evaluate reports of banks shedding their excess assets. BMI, Tejarat Bank and Bank Sepah have already handed in their reports on their selloff plans, according to Karbasian.
Bank Melli is the first national Iranian bank established in 1927 on the order of the Iranian Parliament and since then, it has consistently been one of the most influential Iranian banks.
In 1931, the bank was authorized to print and distribute the Iranian currency rial. BMI acted as the central bank until the CBI was established in 1960, after which all of its central banking responsibilities were transferred to the new entity.
Since 1933, BMI has grown to become a large retail bank with several domestic and international branches. BMI opened its first foreign branch in Hamburg, Germany, in 1965. Bank Melli Iran is owned and operated by the government of Iran.