Foreign investors enter race to tap Iran

LONDON/NEW YORK • A few investors are racing to establish funds for Iran, following last week's nuclear deal with world powers, and many others are tapping into multinationals already present in the US$400 billion (S$547 billion) economy.

The agreement has made some seek a foothold in Teheran's US$100 billion stock market before sanctions are lifted, though others are more cautious approaching it.

The United Nations Security Council yesterday adopted a resolution that launches a progressive and conditional lifting of the sanctions crippling Iran's economy, in exchange for guarantees that the Islamic republic will not develop a nuclear bomb.

The council's five permanent members Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States plus Germany crafted the deal signed in Vienna on July 14 as well as the draft UN resolution.

The resolution marks formal UN endorsement for the hard-won, groundbreaking deal reached between Iran and the so-called P5+1 group after 18 straight days of talks that capped almost two years of momentous negotiations. It calls for the agreement's "full implementation on the timetable established", and urges UN member countries to facilitate the process.

Classified as an upper-middle income country, with a population of 78 million and annual output higher than that of Thailand or the United Arab Emirates, Iran is set to be the biggest economy to rejoin the global trading and financial system since the break-up of the Soviet Union over 20 years ago.

Brokerage Renaissance Capital predicts US$1 billion will flow into Iran in the first year after sanctions end, though it is unlikely to happen for months.

In April, British-based Charlemagne said it had teamed up with Teheran-based firm Turquoise Partners to establish funds that will invest in Iranian securities.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 21, 2015, with the headline 'Foreign investors enter race to tap Iran'. Print Edition | Subscribe