TSE Opens to Foreign Investors


A subsidiary of Iran’s largest bank, Bank Melli Iran, plans to launch a fund of up to 300 million euros to invest in Tehran’s Stock Exchange, providing the first chance for foreigners to enter Iran’s bourse. “The First Persian Equities Fund already has verbal commitments of about 100 million euro ($130 million) with strong interest from European hedge funds and emerging markets funds,“ said Stephen Austen, managing director of Mehr, a subsidiary of the Tehran-listed Bank Melli Iran Investment Company. Stock market analysts say that senior Iranian officials are not yet convinced that the capital market is wrestling with systematic challenges and that the market will not improve as long as infrastructural problems remain. However, Tehran Stock Exchange (TSE) Chief Ali Salehabadi continues to call on the people to buy shares, promising that the situation will improve in the year to March 2007. “We always advise people to buy shares and shareholders to keep their shares, because the capital market will improve this year,“ he said. The recent improvement in the capital market is, however, seen as the natural outcome of the investors’ growing faith in the officialdom’s resolve to overcome the nuclear dispute.