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Iran'sState Telecom To Sell 51 Percent Of Stock In Privatization Bid
[September 07, 2009]

Iran'sState Telecom To Sell 51 Percent Of Stock In Privatization Bid

Sep 07, 2009 (Radio Free Europe Documents and Publications/ContentWorks via COMTEX) -- TEHRAN -- The state-owned Telecommunication Company of Iran will offer 51 percent of its stock for sale in Tehran's stock market next week.

The value of the stock is estimated at 7 billion dollars. Radio Farda reports that one of the parties most interested in acquiring a controlling stake in the company is the Revolutionary Guards, already a major economic force in Iran. The Guards are owners or investors in the ship building sector, oil and gas extraction, petrochemicals, agriculture, and air cargo transport, among other sectors.

The stock sell-off by the Telecommunication Company of Iran is in line with long-standing government goals of privatizing state businesses.

However, the acquisition of the stock by the Revolutionary Guards, if realized, would simply transfer control of the telecommunications company from the state to one of the country's biggest quasi-state entities.

Copyright (c) 2009. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.

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