Iran to privatize part of drilling company

July 22, 2009 at 1:04 PM

TEHRAN, July 22 (UPI) -- A portion of the North Drilling Co. in Iran will go on the Tehran Stock Exchange on Wednesday as part of a five-year economic development plan.

A 6 percent stake in the company will go on the auction block as an initial public offering to determine a fair market price, the Mehr News Agency reports.

This is the third subsidiary under the Iranian Oil Ministry to go public since February 2008 when the Fanavaran Petrochemical Co. and the Esfahan Oil Refinery became privatized.

The Iran Privatization Organization, a division of the Ministry of Economy, is charged with setting prices and offering public shares on the Iranian stock market.

Privatization efforts in Iran call for at least 5 percent of companies to go into public hands to establish a market price for further offerings.

The Oil Ministry in Iran has a list of 21 companies it intends to offer to the private sector as part of a five-year plan.

The initial offering for the North Drilling Co. was set to go public in March, but was delayed for unspecified reasons.

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