Boston, MA -- (SBWIRE) -- 07/18/2012 -- BMI View: Due to rising inflation - estimated above 25% between 2012 and 2015, later subsiding to 15% in 2016 - and continued pressure on Iranian finances following the latest wave of US and EU energy sanctions, we maintain our bearish construction industry forecast of -3% for 2012. This pattern is expected to be maintained until 2016, after which we anticipate a gradual easing and an average annual growth of around 2% between 2016 and 2021. Iran's business environment remains opaque and difficult to penetrate for any outside investors. China and Russia are, by and large, the only two countries with a continued international presence.
- The Chinese government has made an offer to build a new freight rail line in Iran, according to Engineering News-Record. The freight line is aimed at allowing continuous rail transport of goods from China, through the Middle East, to Europe. The project will cost US$2bn, starting in Tehran and running to Khosravi on the Iraqi border. The line will also offer a passenger service. Iran's minister responsible for transport is reported to have invited bids to construct the line.
- Iran launched the Bushehr nuclear power plant during a ceremony held on September 12 2011. The 1,000 megawatt (MW) plant will undergo several test stages before becoming fully operational, reports the IRNA news agency. The west has opposed any such developments, claiming that the Iranian nuclear programme is a cover for the development of atomic weapons.
- Iran's Ministry of Housing and Urban Development has confirmed that contracts have been agreed with construction firms for work on the Mehr Housing Scheme, according to AMEinfo. The scheme will see the construction of 430,000 urban residential units before March 2012. The deals in place relate to 260,000 of the residential units, with arrangements for the rest yet to be finalised.
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