Iran Economy NewsIran seeks to sell 11.5 bln euros bonds by...

Iran seeks to sell 11.5 bln euros bonds by March 2011

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Reuters: Iran plans to issue bonds worth some 11.5 billion euros ($14.8 billion) by March 2011 to help finance development of its energy sector, the semi-official Mehr news agency quoted a senior official as saying on Friday.

TEHRAN July 23 (Reuters) – Iran plans to issue bonds worth some 11.5 billion euros ($14.8 billion) by March 2011 to help finance development of its energy sector, the semi-official Mehr news agency quoted a senior official as saying on Friday.

Analysts say Iran needs funds to help modernise and expand its oil and gas sector, but Western companies in particular are increasingly wary of investing in the major oil producer due to a dispute with the West over its nuclear programme.

“By end of this (Iranian) year (March 2011), we will issue bonds worth 11.5 billion euros to help finance oil and gas projects as well as building power plants,” said first Vice-President Mohammad Reza Rahimi.

Oil Minister Massoud Mirkazemi said in May that Iran needs around $25 billion a year in oil and gas industry investment and could turn into an importer of oil because of the lack of such funds.

One of the world’s biggest oil and gas producers, Iran has been hit by U.S. and U.N. sanctions that have frightened away international energy firms.

The Islamic state has increasingly turned to Asian firms instead but they often lack the technology to implement oil and gas projects.

Washington and its European allies fear Iran’s nuclear programme is a cover to build bombs. Iran says it does not seek nuclear weapons.

(Reporting by Ramin Mostafavi, Writing by Parisa Hafezi, Editing by Ruth Pitchford)

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