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No Privatization of Iran’s Payment Networks

Apr 8, 2018, 9:24 AM
News ID: 24235

EghtesadOnline: Strengthening the private sector role in bolstering the economy and implementing divestiture laws has been a major focus of President Hassan Rouhani’s administration, but the privatization initiative does not appear to be closing in on Iran’s payment entities.

Sources say despite recent media reports that Shaparak, Iran’s payment settlement network, and Shetab, the interbank payment system, are to be divested in the foreseeable future, no such plans are in the works.

Reports had claimed that Valiollah Seif, governor of the Central Bank of Iran, had a meeting during the final days of the previous fiscal year that ended on March 20 with the chief executives of Shaparak, National Informatics Corporation and Informatics Services Corporation, and made preparations to divest the last two entities, according to Financial Tribune.

“In the meeting held with the CBI governor late last year, there was no talk of divesting Shetab and Shaparak, and the matter of ceding them to the private sector is false,” Mohsen Qaderi, CEO of Shaparak, told IBENA.

In addition to the Seif meeting, a report claimed that the Association of State-Owned Banks and the Association of Private Banks and Credit Institutions have held several rounds of meetings on ways of transferring the ownership of Shetab and Shaparak, and even came up with an operational model for the purpose.

Mohammad Reza Jamshidi, secretary of the Association of Private Banks and Credit Institutions, rejected the report.

“Even though it is a general policy of the government to divest state-owned companies, no coordination has been made yet with the association in this regard and the matter of transferring Shetab and Shaparak is currently not on the agenda,” he said.