Thursday, February 10, 2005

Iran Daily: British Bank to Open Kish Branch

Iran Daily: "British Bank to Open Kish Branch

TEHRAN, Feb. 8--A Kish Free Trade Zone Organization (KFTZO) official said here Monday that the Standard Charter Bank of Britain will begin operating in the island from next month, IRNA said.
The Deputy Head of KFTZO for economic affairs Mohammad Ali Najafi said the entity is the second foreign-based bank after Iran-Europe Commercial Bank which started its operation in Kish last month.
Iran-Europe Bank is a joint investment between Iranian investors and German banks.
Najafi added that preliminary talks are underway on the project to establish an oil exchange. He added the oil exchange will be launched by a consortium made up of Kish Free Trade Zone Organization (KFTZO), Oil Ministry as well as the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Finance.
He hoped that Kish Island will soon turn into a regional hub for oil transactions.
Noting that part of the logistical services at Asalouyeh area are rendered from Kish island, he noted, "By establishing appropriate infrastructure in the area we have paved the way for involvement of foreign oil companies."
Through proper use of the skilled manpower favorable infrastructural facilities have been provided to turn the area into a major tourist, trade, monetary, banking and ICT hub.
A report released by KFTZO Public Relations Department said that 108 oil enterprises have already been registered at Kish Free Trade Zone, of which 50 percent have become operational.
It said that the trend of activities of industrial units in the KFTZ is satisfactory. "We are striving to draw exports oriented industries to the area.""

BBC NEWS | Middle East | Iran gripped by wintry weather

BBC NEWS | Middle East | Iran gripped by wintry weather: "Iran gripped by wintry weather
By Frances Harrison
BBC News, Tehran

The heavy snow has caused huge disruption
Heavy snow has disrupted ordinary life in the Iranian capital, Tehran, with schools closed for most of the week and many people unable to get to work.

Roads to the north and west of the country have been closed, leaving some villages in the mountains cut off.

More than 70 flights were cancelled on Tuesday alone, and many others have been delayed.

One newspaper says it is the worst weather for 34 years, and the forecast is for more snow in the coming days.

In the capital, Tehran, 10,000 bulldozers and 13,000 municipal workers have been deployed to keep the main roads open - but many small lanes are still blocked.

Public transport has been badly disrupted with long queues for buses and quarrels between the public and taxi drivers who have been increasing their fares.

Children who have been off school all week have been building snow men and playing snowballs, while young boys are making money by shovelling the snow off people's roofs and driveways.

All this comes as the authorities are planning a rally in Tehran for Thursday to mark the anniversary of the Islamic revolution.

This year they are hoping for a massive turnout to counter American allegations that the Iranian regime oppresses its own people and has no popular support. But the weather does not seem to be on their side."