Mixed views on Tehran Stock Exchange’s future in post-sanctions era

Business Materials 1 February 2016 19:32 (UTC +04:00)
Iranian traders have mixed opinions about the future of the Tehran Stock Exchange (TSE).
Mixed views on Tehran Stock Exchange’s future in post-sanctions era

Tehran, Iran, Feb. 1

By Mehdi Sepahvand - Trend:

Iranian traders have mixed opinions about the future of the Tehran Stock Exchange (TSE).

Over the past year, and since Iran and the world powers reached a deal over Tehran's nuclear program, traders and shareholders at the TSE, which is Iran's largest stock exchange, have witnessed ups and downs in the main index.

A group of observers have suggested that President Hassan Rouhani's late-January Europe tour after the removal of nuclear-related sanctions caused a boost in the market.

Tehran Stock Exchange (TSE) main index registered a sharp rise by 1,794 points to hit 72,912 on Feb. 1. The increase, which is a significant high record, follows several days of slight changes in the market. The TSE main index registered a historic increase by 2,115 points to hit 70,972.8 on Jan. 26, a high record in recent years.

However, many traders and shareholders at the TSE's main lobby, the Glass Hall, have told Trend they still believe that the recent political developments have had no effect on the value of stocks and trade volume in the market.

"Stocks are vacillating, because after the sanctions were lifted foreign money has been coming into the country, and I don't think Rouhani's trip has had any positive impact," a shareholder said on conditions of anonymity.

On the other hand, many others at the Glass Hall think quite the contrary.

"The main index is on the rise, as you can see. The lifting of sanctions and Rouhani's trip had an important role in the surge," Babaei, an Iranian shareholder, told Trend.

On Feb. 1, it was announced that more than $100 billion of Iran's frozen assets were released after the removal of international sanctions on the country.

In the meantime, nine Iranian banks were reconnected to the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) earlier today, facilitating and reducing the cost of transactions.

Since March 2012, as part of measures taken in a bid to intensify the sanctions on Tehran due to its nuclear program, several restrictions have been imposed against Iran's banking system, which had a catastrophic impact on Iran's economy.

In a joint statement on Jan. 16, the EU High Representative Federica Mogherini and Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif announced the implementation of the JCPOA, aka nuclear deal, and the removal of economic sanctions on Iran.

According to the statement, EU confirmed that the legal framework, providing for lifting of its nuclear-related economic and financial sanctions, is effective.

TSE said in a monthly briefing released in November 2015 on its website that 318 companies, as well as 37 factories are listed on Tehran Stock Exchange in 37 sectors.

TSE trades a range of shares, funds and financial instruments, including Islamic bonds.

It has not received foreign investment for several years because of sanctions over Iran's nuclear program.