Iran, S Korea in final talks over $13bn loan

Iran’s media say the country is preparing to receive a major credit line worth $13 billion from South Korea for several of its industrial projects within the next few weeks.

The Persian-language newspaper Sharq reported that negotiations to receive the credit line were almost complete and that Finance Minister Ali Tayyebniya would travel to Seoul soon to finalize the procedures for Iran to receive it.

Sharq added that Korea Eximbank (KEXIM) would provide the lion share of the funds at $8 billion. The rest of the funds - $5 billion - would be provided by Korea Trade Insurance Corporation. 

The cash would be accordingly used for projects already approved by Tehran and Soul. They include the renovation of Isfahan Refinery as well as the construction of Siraf condensate refineries.  A certain portion would also be allocated for producing ethane in South Pars Phase 12.

South Korea and Iran have also agreed over the construction of a hospital, Sharq added, without specifying where and with what capacity the hospital would be built.

The report further added that the allocation of the $13-billion credit line by South Korea to Iran would open the way for Japanese and European banks to do the same with the country.

South Korea announced in May that it had prepared a package of loans worth a total of $25 billion for the development of Iran’s infrastructure projects.

The announcement was made during a visit to Tehran by South Korea’s former president Park Geun-hye.

During her stay in Tehran, president Park oversaw the signing of over a dozen agreements between Iran and South Korea to boost cooperation in areas such as energy, power, auto industry and railway section.

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