Iranian bourses on record bull run as investors strive to anchor assets amid economic slide

Iranian bourses on record bull run as investors strive to anchor assets amid economic slide
The Tehran Stock Exchange building on Hafez St, Tehran.
By bne IntelliNews June 18, 2018

The Tehran Stock Exchange (TSE), Iran Fara Bourse (OTC) and other Iranian equity markets have enjoyed a record bull run in recent days, data from the bourses’ websites showed on June 18. 

Floating capital from maturing equities, the severe depreciation of the Iranian rial (IRR) – standing at around IRR70,000 to the dollar on the unofficial market – capital flight and a lack of affordable properties to buy have forced many investors to take a look at the stock market. This perfect storm has proven a boon to investment houses. They are seeing record amounts of new investors who arrive looking to shore up their depleting capital.

The TSE’s TEPIX index gained 2.03% d/d on June 18 to reach 104,533.5 – an all-time high for the country’s largest share trading exchange.

The 100,000 barrier on the TEPIX had never been broken until earlier this week. But with more and more investors struggling to find a place to anchor their assets amid the mounting economic pressures on Iran—given the possible complete unravelling of the nuclear deal following the early-May pullout from the accord by the US and re-introduction of heavy sanctions—thousands of people have poured capital into the bourse.

Total trade volume on June 18 had a value of IRR7.1tn. Overall the market witnessed a staggering 137,478 individual trades.

In line with the trend of late, export-oriented companies led in the trading. Mobarakeh Steel Company, Persian Gulf Petrochemical industries, Golgohar Mining and Industrial Complex, Tamin Petroleum & Petrochemical Investment, Jam Petrochemical, and Khuzestan Steel Company were the top trades on the TSE board down Hafez Street.

The OTC saw a total market cap of IRR1.5bn, with the number of trades standing at 65,508 by the close at midday on June 18.

Further along, on Tehran’s Taleqani Street, the Iran Mercantile Exchange (IME) witnessed growth in its agricultural products, industrial, oil and petrochemical sectors. The aggregate trading value on the bourse for the past few days amounts to IRR15.2bn.

In late May, latest data showed that property sales in Tehran made strong gains in the second month of the Persian year (April 21-May 20), moving up 16.7% y/y. Property has always been seen as a safer bet in uncertain times in Iran. However, people presently searching the market for a deal are typically confronted by requests for extra money given the average per square metre price of property is on the rise. As prices increase amid rising demand, Tehran developers often try to make units more affordable by cramming small apartments into a building. Where one might expect to find a plan for five apartments, they frequently apply for a building permit for 10 units.