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Sebi issues fresh warning to check Iran funds in stock market

December 05, 2013 18:10 IST

StocksCapital market regulator Sebi has issued a fresh directive to market entities to check flow of Iran money into Indian markets, even as Western powers have begun the process to ease sanctions on the Persian Gulf nation.

Sebi has asked stock exchanges and other market participants to remain watchful of funds and entities with Iranian links, as the global inter-governmental agency FATF continues to classify Iran as one of the ‘high-risk and non-cooperative jurisdictions’ with respect to money laundering and terror financing activities.

Recently, Securities and Exchange Board of India had directed Bombay Stock Exchange, National Stock Exchange and MCX Stock Exchange to keep a close watch on possible Iranian money flows into capital markets.

The warning has been issued even as Iran last month agreed to halt some of its work on uranium enrichment, prompting many to bill it as a historic deal.

In return for the deal with P5+1 group of nations -- the US, the UK, Russia, China, France and Germany -- there would be no new nuclear-related sanctions on Iran for six months.

On the other hand, the US as well as many European nations had slapped stiff economic sanctions on Iran for its controversial nuclear programme and suspected terror activities. Those sanctions are still in place.

In October, FATF had cautioned member-countries on substantial money laundering and terrorist financing risks emanating from Iran and Democratic People's Republic of Korea .

FATF, whose members include India, sets the global standards for combating money laundering and terror financing activities.

The grouping had asked India and other members to apply counter-measures to protect the international financial system from risks by these two jurisdictions.

"The FATF remains particularly and exceptionally concerned about Iran's failure to address the risk of terrorist financing and the serious threat this poses to the integrity of the international financial system, despite Iran's previous engagement with the FATF and recent submission of information," the grouping had said in October.

Due to the continuing terrorist financing threat emanating from Iran, jurisdictions should consider the steps already taken and possible additional safeguards or strengthen existing ones, it had said.

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