A listed British investment company linked to one of Iran’s largest investment banks failed to disclose that its focus is on the Islamic Republic, Euromonitor wrote on November 21.
Iran’s Turquoise Partners, the UK sister company of which is Indigo Holdings PLC, is said to have omitted Iran from Indigo's public disclosure briefing because it assumed that its listing on London’s NEX Exchange for SME growth companies would not be accepted by regulators if the omission was not made.
The investment bank, which is not affiliated with any government institution in Iran, has private backers that intend to raise £10-20mn on the exchange.
Indigo, in response to UK-based global market intelligence publisher Euromonitor International, said it had entered into an “unofficial” agreement with NEX to keep the information relating to Iran off the official application to list on the exchange.
Indigo and various other parties involved in the listing have denied any wrongdoing. In a statement issued by Indigo's lawyers, Carter-Ruck, the company announced: “Indigo has fully complied with all NEX listing rules and has always been fully transparent with the exchange and its own investors.”
The company stated that it had had an unofficial discussion with NEX on omitting the word “Iran” from its listing as it was wary of getting caught in a possible sanctions net from overzealous US regulators.
“We discussed it with them clearly. We didn’t want it in the document,” Indigo managing director Sarem Edward ‘Eddie’ Kerman told Euromonitor.
Indigo was originally named Turquoise Holdings Limited when it was incorporated on the Isle of Man in July 2016. The firm was created by Turquoise executives in Tehran and lists three executives on its books.
Both companies’ offices are registered at the same New Bond Street address in London.
Indigo's initial market capitalisation on admission to NEX was just under £1.245mn, according to publicly available documents.
NEX is regulated by the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority and must abide by the same rules as other recognised investment exchanges such as the London Stock Exchange (LSE) and the LSE's AIM international market for smaller growing companies.
In its NEX admission document, Indigo said it was looking to make investments in several Middle Eastern countries, but Iran was not mentioned in any of the supporting documents.
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