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Iran to Offer Oil Contracts to Individual Investors, Shana Says

Iran plans to offer forward contracts of crude oil for sale to individual domestic investors in an effort to help finance its energy industry, the Oil Ministry news website Shana reported.

Each contract will represent a minimum of 10 barrels of crude under the plan, which is to take effect before the end of November, Shana reported, citing Oil Minister Rostam Qasemi. Investors will be able to buy the contracts from banks and redeem them after four years, Qasemi said, according to the report.

The ministry will also issue bonds denominated in foreign currencies to help pay for developing the oil industry, the website reported, citing Qasemi. Bonds will be issued from Nov. 26, he said, without specifying the size of the issue or the currencies in which they’ll be denominated, according to Shana.

Iran, the second-largest oil producer in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, faces challenges in upgrading and expanding its industry as a result of sanctions imposed by the United Nations, U.S. and European Union over the country’s nuclear program. The U.S. and its allies accuse Iran of seeking to develop atomic weapons, while the Persian Gulf nation says it needs nuclear energy for civilian use.

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