Tehran Stock Exchange reacts to nuclear deal

14 July 2015

10 per cent boost in anticipation of agreement

  • The Tehran Stock Exchange index has risen 10.4 per cent over the last month
  • The nuclear deal provoked a high volume of trading, with the index up 0.3 per cent at the close

Iran’s stock market, the Tehran Stock Exchange, has recorded steady rises in the months leading up to the nuclear deal.

In the month ending 13 July, the total index rose steadily by 10.4 per cent to reach 69,195.

On 14 July, before the deal was announced, the index rose to a high of 69,532, then fell before closing at 69,433, 0.3 per cent up on the opening price. $135m of shares were traded, compared to a daily average in May 2015 of $36m.

The biggest gainers were car manufacturer Saipa, up 12.3 per cent, as well as several investment companies.

However, this is 22.3 per cent below the five-year-high of 89,356 on 6 January 2014.

Iran’s economy has been battered by a US-led sanctions regime and its GDP will grow just 0.6 per cent in 2015, according to the Washington-based IMF.

The Tehran Stock Exchange’s total market capitalisation is IR3,010 trillion ($102bn). It remains one of the larger equity markets in the region, after Saudi Arabia’s Tadawul, the Qatar Exchange and the Abu Dhabi Exchange.

Ten fund managers from the UK, Switzerland, France and Russia visited Tehran Stock Exchange on 8 June 2015 to meet with publicly traded companies.

The exchange is open to foreign investors, who can own up to 10 per cent of the equities in any listed company. The total foreign investors’ ownership ceiling is 20 per cent in any listed company, but foreign investors can apply for a license to own a higher percentage of equity or even take over a listed company.

However, the US sanctions regime, which prohibits US persons and companies from making new investments in Iran, has prevented investors from looking to Iranian stocks.

It is not yet clear when sanctions on the financial sector will be lifted.

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