Iran, India move closer on trade as EU stalls

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi. (File/AFP)
Updated 08 January 2019

Iran, India move closer on trade as EU stalls

  • India recently signed a deal with Iran to buy crude in rupees rather than US dollars
  • India imports around 80 percent of its oil needs

NEW DELHI: Iran will boost trade with India as the European Union struggles to find a way to circumvent a fresh US embargo on Tehran, Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif said Tuesday.
Brussels is working on a payment mechanism to keep financial transactions flowing with Iran, after the US ditched the 2015 nuclear deal with Tehran earlier this year and reintroduced a raft of sanctions on the country.
But Zarif told reporters in New Delhi that the EU’s delay in implementing the system meant Iran would look elsewhere.
“Europeans have made efforts but couldn’t... progress up to our expectations. We will expand our cooperation via various channels such as India,” Zarif said after meeting India’s transport minister, as quoted by Iran’s semi-official news agency ISNA.
The EU hopes its “special purpose vehicle” (SPV) announced in September will keep the nuclear deal alive and persuade Tehran to stay on board by giving companies a way of trading with Iran without violating Washington’s sanctions.
But Brussels is struggling to find a host for the SPV and many EU companies are fearful of repercussions from US President Donald Trump’s administration.
India, which imports around 80 percent of its oil needs, recently signed a deal with Iran to buy crude in rupees rather than US dollars, helping it get around the sanctions.
Zarif added that Iran was “very happy” that the Indian government was allowing the Iranian Bank Pasargad to open a branch in India’s financial capital of Mumbai.
India also recently took over the running of part of Iran’s Chabahar Port, in the Gulf of Oman, as the countries build closer ties.
“We hope, despite US sanctions, Iran and India will have more cooperation in line with the interests of the people and the two countries,” said Zarif.


Huawei's third-quarter revenue jumps 27% as smartphone sales surge

Updated 16 October 2019

Huawei's third-quarter revenue jumps 27% as smartphone sales surge

  • American companies, significantly disrupting its ability to source key parts
  • Huawei was all but banned by the United States in May from doing business with American companies

SHENZHEN, SHANGHAI: Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd’s third-quarter revenue jumped 27%, driven by a surge in shipments of smartphones launched before a trade blacklisting by the United States expected to hammer its business.
Huawei, the world’s biggest maker of telecom network equipment and the No. 2 manufacturer of smartphones, was all but banned by the United States in May from doing business with American companies, significantly disrupting its ability to source key parts.
The company has been granted a reprieve until November, meaning it will lose access to some technology next month. Huawei has so far mainly sold smartphones that were launched before the ban.
Its newest Mate 30 smartphone — which lacks access to a licensed version of Google’s Android operating system — started sales last month.
Huawei in August said the curbs would hurt less than initially feared, but could still push its smartphone unit’s revenue lower by about $10 billion this year.
The tech giant did not break down third-quarter figures but said on Wednesday revenue for the first three quarters of the year grew 24.4% to 610.8 billion yuan.
Revenue in the quarter ended Sept. 30 rose to 165.29 billion yuan ($23.28 billion) according to Reuters calculations based on previous statements from Huawei.
“Huawei’s overseas shipments bounced back quickly in the third quarter although they are yet to return to pre-US ban levels,” said Nicole Peng, vice president for mobility at consultancy Canalys.
“The Q3 result is truly impressive given the tremendous pressure the company is facing. But it is worth noting that strong shipments were driven by devices launched pre-US ban, and the long-term outlook is still dim,” she added.
The company said it has shipped 185 million smartphones so far this year. Based on the company’s previous statements and estimates from market research firm Strategy Analytics, that indicates a 29% surge in third-quarter smartphone shipments.
Still, growth in the third quarter slowed from the 39% increase the company reported in the first quarter. Huawei did not break out figures for the second quarter either, but has said revenue rose 23.2% in the first half of the year.
“Our continued strong performance in Q3 shows our customers’ trust in Huawei, our technology and services, despite the actions and unfounded allegations against us by some national governments,” Huawei spokesman Joe Kelly told Reuters.
The US government alleges Huawei is a national security risk as its equipment could be used by Beijing to spy. Huawei has repeatedly denied its products pose a security threat.
The company, which is now trying to reduce its reliance on foreign technology, said last month that it has started making 5G base stations without US components.
It is also developing its own mobile operating system as the curbs cut its access to Google’s Android operating system, though analysts are skeptical that Huawei’s Harmony system is yet a viable alternative.
Still, promotions and patriotic purchases have driven Huawei’s smartphone sales in China — surging by a nearly a third compared to a record high in the June quarter — helping it more than offset a shipments slump in the global market.