Iran government to list banks, insurers in new IPO worth over $1bn

Press TV – The Iranian government is to list its shares in three banks and two insurance companies to raise over $1 billion in new finances as more public firms launch initial public offering (IPO) in a stock market where trade is booming like never before.

Finance Minister Farhad Dejpassand said on Saturday that the listing for the five government-run entities, which include Bank Mellat, Bank Tejarat, Bank Saderat, Alborz Insurance and Amin Reinsurance, would take place late next week in the Tehran Stock exchange (TSE).

Dejpassand said the five banks and insurers would form an exchange-traded fund (ETF) in a trade that is expected to generate 165 trillion rials (over $1 billion) in new finances for the government.

The listing would come more than two weeks after an IPO for the Iranian government’s largest investment holding, known as Shasta, generated more than $400 million.

The IPOs are part of government plans to use a current boom in the TSE to shore up finances that have been hit by a series of US sanctions.

Dejpassand said IPOs for public companies will continue in the upcoming months with the listing of two major football clubs and several refineries and industrial units.

The minister said booming trade in the TSE, where overall value has already exceeded $180 billion, was a good sign for an economy that needs new resources for investment.

He ruled out claims that there is a bubble in trades in the TSE, saying a handful of companies listed on the stock market may have offered shares on unrealistic prices.

“Based on our studies, there is no bubble in the market as a whole and I have not seen any study showing there is such a bubble,” said the minister.

More than 3.448 billion shares changed hands in the TSE on Saturday, adding nearly $320 million to the value of the market.

The TSE’s overall value exceeded $181 billion on Saturday as main index TEDPIX rose 3.76 percent to reach 789,820 points.