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Iran plans sales of shares in PGPIC, largest divestiture ever

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
The Iranian government is to divest its 18% stake in Persian Gulf Petrochemicals (PGPIC).

The Iranian government is to sell its shares in the Persian Gulf Petrochemical Industries Corporation (PGPIC), in what is expected to be the largest divestiture in the country’s asset sales program.

Head of the Iranian Privatization Organization Hossein Ghorbanzadeh said on Sunday that government stake in PGPIC, which amounts to 18% of the total shares in the company, will be sold through a listing on the local stock market in the near future.

Ghorbanzadeh said the divestiture will be the largest in Iran’s history if the sell-off takes place in one single block trade.

“Naturally this will be the largest sell-off in the history of government’s stake divestitures in rial terms,” said the official without elaborating on how much the company has been valued in Iran’s official currency terms.

The Iranian Oil Ministry has the controlling shares in PGPIC, the second largest petrochemical company in the Middle East and one of the most profitable in the world.

The holding controls a group of major petrochemical plants and chemical factories in Iran, many of them feeding on the country’s vast natural gas reserves located in the Persian Gulf.

PGPIC has been blacklisted by the United States as part of Washington’s efforts to deprive Iran of its lucrative oil sector revenues.

However, growing sales of the company in the past three years have played a major role in Iran’s efforts to offset the impacts of American sanctions on the country’s economy.

Speaking to the official IRNA news agency, Ghorbanzadeh said that another option for divesting government stake in PGPIC would be to offer the shares in three large blocks with each block containing 6% of the shares.

He said the government is supposed to sell assets worth 900 trillion rials ($3 billion) to finance the current calendar year budget which runs through late March.

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