Iran – one of the world’s last untapped markets – is set to see its first exchange-traded fund (ETF) launch, ahead of the possible lifting of international sanctions that were imposed on the nation, Reuters reported earlier this week.
Turquoise Partners, a Tehran-based investment firm, said that it is planning to launch Iran’s first ETF tracking the Tehran Stock Exchange’s TSE 30 index of 30 of Iran’s largest blue chip companies.
International sanctions that were imposed over Iran’s disputed nuclear program have blocked most flows of foreign money into Iran, which has made Tehran’s stock exchange – with a capitalization of $106 billion – one of the last big, unexploited opportunities for international investors.
The international sanctions could be lifted, which would allow fund inflows to resume, should Tehran reach a nuclear deal in talks with world powers by a mid-2015 deadline.
Firouzeh Asia Brokerage, which is a branch of Turquoise Partners, said that it has obtained a license for the ETF from Iranian regulators and will list the fund on the country’s main market.
International sanctions, domestic political and policy shifts, in addition to speculative trading have made the Iranian stock market very volatile. The market’s total return index surged around seven-fold in the four years to January 2014, however the market has fallen 27 percent as authorities have tightened monetary and fiscal policy.