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Iran, South Korea to trade in euros

1 August 2016 23:30

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South Korea’s media say the country’s businesses will soon be able to settle their accounts with their Iranian counterparts in the euro currency instead of the local won.

Reports have quoted sources from the financial industry as saying that the US government has indicated that it would condone South Korean companies to make payments to Iran in euros.

The mechanism – which will be implemented from September for a trial phase – is expected to allow more convenient monetary transaction with Iran through European banks, the Pulse News reported. It will specifically pave the way for Korean businesses to speed up $45.6 billion worth bilateral projects that have been sealed in May during President Park Geun-hye’s visit to Iran, it added.

South Korea and Iran signed a series of deals during President Park’s visit to Tehran.  The deals envisaged cooperation between the two countries in areas such as energy, transportation, water resources, ports, science and education, health, insurance, banking and customs.

The value of non-oil trade between Iran and South Korea in 2013 stood at around $4.1 billion from which $3.8 billion were the exports of South Korea to Iran and some $300 million were Iran’s exports to South Korea.

South Korea is also a major buyer of Iran’s crude oil.  Official figures released in mid-July showed that the country’s imports of oil from Iran had increased by about 115 percent in June compared to last year.

Figures released by Reuters showed that Seoul brought in 1.04 million tons of Iranian crude oil last month, or 254,653 barrels per day (bpd).

The volume was more than two times higher than 485,182 tons that the country imported a year earlier when sanctions were imposed on Tehran.

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