Iran is exploring options to seek listing of its Islamic treasury bills (ITB) and sovereign bonds on the Qatar Stock Exchange (QSE), signalling the strengthening economic relations between Tehran and Doha.
Moreover, many Iranian companies have evinced interests in seeking dual listing with the QSE, said a senior official of Iran Fara Bourse (IFB), which accounts for 82% of all the bonds issued in the Islamic republic.
“We have some offer for the QSE. The dual listing of Iran’s ITBs is an area,” said Neda Bashiri, product development manager of IFB, who was on a visit to Qatar.
Iran sold its first batch of ITBs (a short-term sovereign debt) to domestic investors in September 2015. The government redeemed holders of its first batch of the bonds in March 2016, paying them $164mn at market exchange rate in the process. The bills were given to government contractors in lieu of overdue payments.
Highlighting that ITB has the highest government guarantee, she said the government predicted the profit payments in advance and also the nominal value of the instrument in the budget and so the possibility of default is zero.
IFB is an over-the-counter market for securities and other financial instruments in Tehran, which operates under the official supervision of the Securities and Exchange Organisation. The other bourse in the country is the Tehran Stock Exchange.
Confirming that preliminary discussions (regarding dual listing of treasury bills and bonds) have been initiated, Bashiri said depending on the response from Qatar, Iran could chalk out further strategies.
“We are in a very early stage of talks. If we get positive response from Qatar, we are ready to initiate negotiations at the highest levels,” she said.
A senior official of the QSE said it is working in dual listing with different countries but did not specify.
The official of the Iranian bourse also said the sovereign bonds could also find its place in the proposed dual listing scheme with the QSE. “We have some sovereign bonds that can be listed on the QSE,” she added.
Iran plans to enhance the issues of short-term Islamic bonds as part of efforts to reinvigorate its domestic debt market.
Foreign investors have invested about $8bn in Iran’s debt market so far this fiscal year (which started March 21), IFB chief executive Amir Hamouni earlier said.
Highlighting that there are several companies listed on the IFB under various sectors like oil and gas, automobiles, industry and banking; Bashiri said, “These (companies) are interested in dual listing (in the QSE).”
QSE chief executive Rashid bin Ali al-Mansoori said it is in talks with Arab and Asian countries to arrange dual listings of foreign stocks in Qatar.
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