Iran taps its sovereign wealth fund to calm stock market jitters

Bloomberg – Iran will set aside 1% of its sovereign wealth fund to stabilize the country’s stock market after its main index of shares lost over a fifth of its value in a month, sparking fears of further falls.

The fund will deposit the unspecified amount on Saturday, government spokesman Ali Rabiei said in a press conference on Tuesday, according to the semi-official Mehr News Agency. The report didn’t give details of how the mechanism would work.

The Tehran Stock Exchange’s overall index was down 2.3% to 1,570,049 at 3:15 p.m. in Tehran, according to the bourse’s website. Shares rose to a record high of 2,065,114 on Aug. 9, capping a monthslong rally spurred by a government decision to sell state assets worth about $2 billion to aid the fight against the coronavirus.

The National Development Fund, founded in 2011 and derived mainly from oil income, hasn’t published data on its size since the U.S. reimposed sanctions on Iran in 2018. In May 2016, Mehr said it stood at $80 billion.