Iran sells 363 million shares of government companies

Iran Materials 27 August 2013 17:42 (UTC +04:00)

Azerbaijan, Baku, Aug.27/ Trend, F. Karimov/

Some 363 million shares of Iranian government companies were transferred to the private sector during the previous Iranian calendar month (July 23-August 22), the Mehr News Agency reported.

The shares were valued at over 786 billion rials (about $31 million). The U.S. official exchange rate is currently 24,802 rials.

The Iranian government has envisioned a large privatization program in the Fifth Five-Year Development Plan (2010-2015), aiming to privatize about 20 percent of state-owned firms each year.

In line with Article 44 of the Iranian Constitution, hundreds of state-owned companies have been privatized with some of the shares being earmarked for distribution among 'deprived' classes, such as farmers and workers.

In a speech in March 2013, Iranian Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani said that transferring economic activities to the public will resolve the unemployment problem.

"Implementing Article 44 of the Constitution regarding privatization will hand over the economy to the public," Larijani stated.