EghtesadOnline: Iran is exploring a return to international debt markets for the first time since 2002, a senior government official said, as the Islamic Republic seeks to finance an economic recovery a year after a nuclear deal.
Iranian Economy Minister Ali Tayebnia said in an interview with Bloomberg in Tehran that he expects his country to secure a credit rating in the “near future,” a step that could help attract bond investors.
Iranian officials are “negotiating with all the rating agencies,” he said.
Ten months before his first term ends, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani is seeking to turn his landmark diplomatic success into tangible economic benefits for Iran’s 80 million people, reports ISNA.
His bid to lure billions of dollars in foreign investment needed to rebuild infrastructure. Tehran has also heavily criticized moves by Republican lawmakers in Washington to roll back the deal.
“In the area of banking relations, especially big banks, we are still faced with some problems,” Tayebnia said. “However, some of these problems, gradually and over time, will be resolved.”
Iran last issued international debt in July 2002, according to the International Monetary Fund.
Officials from Fitch Ratings visited the country in June to make an initial assessment of the economy, Akbar Komijani, a deputy central bank governor, said in an interview on June 30. The company said in March it was in discussions with the Islamic Republic but declined to elaborate.
“Right now, the groundwork for issuing bonds and various Iranian debt securities in international markets exists,” Tayebnia said. He didn’t elaborate on the potential size and timing of the possible sale.
The OPEC member would join other major oil producers that have rushed to the bond market in an effort to repair public finances battered by the plunge in crude prices.