UPI Energy Watch


UPI Energy Correspondent

WASHINGTON, Jan. 30 (UPI) -- Iran's oil bourse draws little attention in West

Western media is paying little attention to Iran's oil bourse, which is expected to open on March 20 using a euro oil-trading mechanism.

The move will allow investors to buy or sell oil for euros to transact on the exchange, thereby circumventing the U.S. dollar and Europeans will no longer have to buy and hold dollars to secure their payment for oil.

Iranian media said talks were held with foreign investors, and Iran gave the Asian Capital Partners and the Future Bank of Bahrain permission to invest 100 million euros each in the Iranian stock market.

Iran also authorized three private Lebanese investors to invest up to 50 million euros in the stock market.

The new euro-based oil trade could become a competitor to the two leading oil exchanges -- the New York Mercantile Exchange and London's International Petroleum Exchange -- but a number of international issues facing Iran will require a resolution before the undertaking becomes a success.

Iran is not the first country to push for non-dollar oil prices.

On Dec. 30, Venezuela's central bank said it plans to approve the use of the euro to service demand from foreign companies as well as to further distance the country from its dollar dealings.