Bloomberg News

Iralco Asks LME to Explain Decision Not to Accept its Aluminum

December 12, 2011

Dec. 12 (Bloomberg) -- Iranian Aluminium Co. is trying to establish why the London Metal Exchange said it won’t accept the company’s brand of aluminum for delivery to warehouses approved by the bourse.

The company’s product won’t be taken from Jan. 6, the LME said in a notice to members on Dec. 9. If warrants are canceled on or after that date, it won’t be possible to place the metal back on warrant, either with the same warehouse company or another warehouse company, according to the notice. Warrants are documents entitling holders to take possession of metal at an LME-approved warehouse.

The LME “hasn’t told us why it happened,” Hassan Mousavi, Iranian Aluminium Co.’s director of commercial affairs, said today by phone from Tehran. “We are in talks to see what the reason is.”

Iran is under four sets of United Nations economic and financial sanctions as well as additional measures imposed by the European Union and the U.S., which seek to increase pressure on the country over its nuclear program. The U.S. and its allies say the country intends to develop nuclear weapons, while Iran says its program is purely civilian.

Iranian Aluminium is privately owned and will be sending documents to the LME to clarify its ownership, Mousavi said. The quality of the company’s aluminum isn’t an issue, he added.

“The quality is standard and the LME doesn’t have a problem with the quality, our customers are satisfied,” Mousavi said.

The company, which has its warehouse in the central city of Arak and offices in Tehran, produces 120,000 metric tons of aluminum a year, according to its website. Its shares are sold on the Tehran Stock Exchange, according to the TSE website.

Miriam Heywood, a spokeswoman for the LME, today declined to comment.

--With assistance from Agnieszka Troszkiewicz in London. Editors: John Deane, Nicholas Larkin

To contact the reporter on this story: Ladane Nasseri in Tehran at lnasseri@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Andrew J. Barden at barden@bloomberg.net; Claudia Carpenter at ccarpenter2@bloomberg.net


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