Iran’s social security fund sells 10% of assets on stock market

Bloomberg – Iran will sell around 10% of holdings in one of its largest state-managed investment companies on the Tehran Stock Exchange to raise money for the government’s efforts to contain the coronavirus, President Hassan Rouhani said at a cabinet meeting.

The Social Security Investment Co., also known as Shasta, is the investment arm of the organization that provides benefits, health cover and pensions to around 40 million Iranians.

The main index of leading shares on the TSE climbed 3% in mid-morning trading, according to data on the exchange’s website, extending gains it made this week after hitting a record high partly on anticipation of Wednesday’s sale.

Read more: Iran Fund Seeks Foreigners to Expand $15 Billion of Assets

Rouhani didn’t give details or a valuation for the units sold. Some 82 companies belonging to Shasta have already been sold off, representing around 80% of its entire portfolio of assets, the semi-official Iranian Labour News Agency reported, quoting the managing director of Shasta, Mohammad Rezvanifar.

In February 2016, Shasta announced a major plan to sell almost half of its companies and was looking for foreign partners to help it manage and expand its $15 billion of assets soon after the landmark nuclear deal had been implemented. The U.S. withdrew from the accord in 2018 and has since ramped up sanctions on Iran.

— With assistance by Arsalan Shahla