US businessman explored investment chances in Iran

Tehran, July 28, IRNA – The New York-based financial website Bloomberg said a US businessman visited Iran to explore investment chances in the country once the sanctions are lifted.

In an article on Monday, it said “Now, in the aftermath of Iran’s deal earlier this month with international powers to end sanctions, investors like Hans Humes are anticipating that drought will end soon.

Before Iran can access overseas markets, the U.S. and European Union will need to lift a complex web of sanctions.

As Iranian officials were in Vienna hammering out terms of the nuclear accord, Humes, a New York-based hedge fund manager, traveled to Tehran to do scouting work of his own. During a 10-day trip, he liked much of what he saw -- a well-educated population, low homelessness, signs of a modernized economy -- and said he’d be a buyer when the nation starts selling debt to finance projects that weren’t viable under the sanctions.

“The bond market appetite for everything Iranian will be pretty high,” Humes, founder of hedge fund Greylock Capital Management, said in a telephone interview from New York. He estimated it may take government officials a while before they’re ready, perhaps a year or so, “but they’re going to start tapping international markets.”

It went on write that “With the U.S. poised to start increasing interest rates later this year, a move that would erode demand for developing-nation debt, Iran will probably want to raise money as soon as possible to lock in borrowing costs below 10 percent, said Amir Zada, a managing director at Exotix Ltd., which specializes in illiquid and distressed emerging-market debt.

Iran, which has the world’s fourth largest crude oil reserves, would be seeking funds in part to upgrade the sectors of its economy that suffered the most during the sanctions. To capitalize on foreign interest already expressed by Royal Dutch Shell Plc, BP Plc and Total SA, the Islamic Republic has to improve industrial infrastructure.

Private sector lenders are also ready to take advantage of access to international markets. Amin Investment Bank, which organizes some 40 percent of the country’s capital market debt sales, is seeking to revive a number of projects it was forced to abandon because of sanctions, Chief Executive Officer Ali Sanginian said Sunday in an interview.”

According to Bloomberg, “The Iranian lender has been in contact with a major European bank about plans for issuing dollar-denominated sukuks on the international market, Sanginian said, declining to name the potential partner.”

Originally published in July 28, 2015 in Islamic Republic News Agency available through the following link