The contracts, denominated in Iranian rials and settled
physically, will have maturity dates on a two month cycle. All
transactions will be cleared and settled by CSD Iran, the
Iranian clearing house.
TSE’s CEO, Hassan Ghalibaf Asl, said in a
statement: "We are very pleased to develop a broader
international investor base focused on the futures market.
Moreover, offering the new product will help us broaden and
deepen our market.
"We are committed to offering our members and investors a
diversified product. At the first step, we offer eight futures
contracts based on two listed banks, Parsian Bank and Karafarin
Bank, and will expand it to at least 10 stocks by March 2011.
The two stocks have been selected due to their substantial
underlying liquidity and several tests," he added.
Sources in the Middle East have suggested the move is
designed to placate Iranian investors facing a strict
regulatory climate and tough economic sanctions. Yesterday the
European Union introduced a tougher than ever package of
sanctions, barring European firms from investing in the Iranian
oil and gas industries, or providing insurance to Iranian
This climate is likely to mean EU players show very limited
interest in the Iranian futures market. However, one senior
market player said: "There’s a lot of movement in
Tehran, lots of brokers pushing for new products.
There’s a hell of a lot of interest from local
The bourse has recently introduced a new Sama futures
trading system, developed in house with the support of the Iran
Mercantile Exchange, which lists futures on oil, metals and
The equity derivative market’s opening ceremony
was attended by Huseyin Erkan, Istanbul Stock
Exchange’s president, and Ali Saleh-abaady, the
president of the Securities and Exchange Organisation of Iran,
as well as other authorities of the Iranian capital market.
By listing futures, TSE hopes to meet the needs of a wider
range of investors, and give them diversification and hedging
opportunities. The products will allow investors to bet on
stocks with less money than buying them outright. The bourse
also hopes equity derivatives will allow its participants a
more efficient way of managing risk.
Keen investor base
Asked to gauge whether the contacts were likely to gain
traction with investors, the source was pessimistic. "The
question is these sanctions, and whether they’ll
let [external] investors in. Their economic structure is in
real trouble – it’s incredibly poorly
run. Inflation is very high. They’ve started
rationing petrol, simply because they haven’t got
the infrastructure to fracture [oil]. Markets therefore need
There is, however, a strong base of talent in Tehran, he
argued, a by-product of the recent difficulties faced by
Iranian finance professionals gaining UAE visas and migrating
to Dubai. "There’s no love lost between the two
governments," the source added. "[Iranian president]
Ahmadinejad recently announced plans to price oil in dirhams,
which would play havoc with the UAE markets." The UAE lists and
exports oil in dollars.
"It’s a very depressing place to be right now,"
concluded the source. "There’s so much wasted
potential. If Iran were an open society, then forget Dubai
– they’d be the biggest base in the
Tom Osborn +44 207 779 8361 firstname.lastname@example.org