Iran’s economy is healthy. Its stock market is booming.

Iran's economy is healthy. Its stock market is booming.

LONDON – He looked past Iran’s chaotic economy, ignored the unwarranted nuclear deal, and faced the threat of President Trump’s bellicose war. Although Maciej Vaztal concentrated on a mundane substance, the important question is: Where were the Iranians going to buy their chocolate biscuits?

The Iranians were forced to economize, trading lunches at kebab restaurants for cheaper snacks like sweet snacks. Mr Wajtal, who runs a dedicated investment fund on Iranian stocks, identified a company that was ready to benefit: Gorgi was in a very good position to raise biscuit prices, because of American sanctions that forced foreign competitors to leave Iran that trade prohibited. With the country. He bought shares of it and saw them more than quadruple their value over the course of 2019.

“You have companies that actually benefit from sanctions,” said Mr Wajtal, “who has to compete with imported products.”

Born and raised in Poland, Mr Vaztal, 36, oversees only foreign funds that focus on buying stock in two Tehran exchange businesses. This may seem like a sanctions regime, a market overseen by the Iranian government under sanctions sanctions. To avoid American-imposed sanctions on the use of dollars for transactions with Iran, Mr Wajtal’s funds were managed in the Netherlands and operated entirely in the Euro.

A fund that focuses on Iranian equities may also feel confused. Who wants to be left in the shackles of people’s woes and depletion of living standards, with most indications of sanctions falling apart, the devaluation of other parts of the world economy and rising prices?

Mr. Vaztal does. As he portrays, the sentiment toward sanctions misses the breadth of Iran’s economy. The sanctions prohibit the sale of Iranian oil, which is one of the sources of Iranian government revenue, although unknown amounts are being trafficked from the country. Oil is such a big part of the economy that the sector is guaranteed to hit the recession.

But beneath the reality of this title is a fascinating emerging market – a country of more than 5 million people, many highly educated, intending to transcend decades of isolation to unite the world. The Iranians have established a rapidly expanding business in the mining and farming industries, starting with petrochemical and automotive.

It trades in the Tehran stock market with several companies that are now holders of an impossible distinction: last year it was the best performing equity market in the world, more than doubling in dollar terms.

The Iranian EquityCheck record begins revolutionarily with the country’s reputation as an international fairytale. With foreign investment rarely entering the country, and with the overall economy rapidly being compromised, the stocks are stuck in rock-bottom-value. Even after rising last year, many companies’ stocks look cheaper than their profits.

It is noteworthy that the title of the best performing stock market in the world has been caught by the dreaded proximity of countries, where lasting changes to normality can drastically change the fortunes of a company. In 2018, the IBC Caracas Exchange in Venezuela produces the best return to the world Last year, the list of candidates included Athens.

Yet doubling Tehran’s share price meant the development of Iranian companies to avoid the brunt of the Trump administration’s sanctions, in many cases, justified profits because of them.

“This is an important barometer of confidence in the private sector,” said Esfandiar Butmangleidz, publisher of Bowson & Markets, a London news and analytics website focused on the Iranian economy and business world. “It shows you that Iran has a lot of resources.”

According to the International Monetary Fund, the Iranian economy contracts 9.5 percent annually. Iran protested the cities in November after rising fuel prices. Protests erupted again last month amid anger over cover-up over the government’s blame for firing on Ukraine’s passenger jets.

Some say the stock market is a story of strife, this product led by Iran led people to advise their savings on equity at short option.

“My apprehension is not over,” said Adnan Mazarei, a senior fellow at Washington’s Peterson Institute for International Economics, “and this thing became a bubble.”

Mr Wajtal was able to tell stories that challenged conventional views about Iran. In recent days, he went on snowboarding at a mountain resort built in the 1960s by the then-ousted Shah of Iran.

“It’s absolutely amazing,” he said over the phone from Iran. “It will be the main destination for skiing and snowboarding in the Middle East and Central Asia.”

A disobedient admirer of the following line, Mr. Vaztal does not make a fuss or betrayal about investing in a government-run country. Prisoners of political dissent, Endorsed a dictatorial government in Syria and fueled Yemen with a proxy for brutal war.

“We just buy and sell shares,” he said.

He encompasses the latest frontiers of global capitalism – Cuba, Venezuela, North Korea. Iran is even bigger and hopeful, he said.

In Poland in the sixties, when the country was exposed to the rigors of communism, his father, Warsaw, operated the first international-quality restaurant.

Mr Wajtal’s career began in banking – first as an equity researcher at Warsaw Citigroup and later as a trader focused on stocks and derivatives at JPMorgan Chase in London. He worked in a hedge fund, then returned to Poland to manage investment funds.

His interest in Iran was triggered by a nuclear deal signed by President Barack Obama in the 21st. Iran pledged to limit its nuclear development plans while submitting to international sanctions in exchange for years of sanctions relief.

With an expected incentive to invest internationally, Mr Wajtal traveled to Tehran for a visit. He found a stock market that had been operating for more than two decades, comprising about 600 companies in two exchanges of operations, in which daily major steel, such as food and cleaning products, was made.

Many companies are recording 5 to 5 percent revenue per year, but their share price is not reflecting this. The prices in the market were tight.

“It was the most valuable in the world,” he said.

Mr McKenzie raised funds for his fund, Amitelon Capital – which is Amsterdam, Tehran, London – in July 2017, stocking it with money drawn from friends and relatives. He operates a glass-enclosed cube inside a space in central London’s WeWork. He travels to Iran every month, where he has one more office.

One of his first buys was a glass producer. With abundant energy and seemingly endless supply of sand – the main raw material – Iran has been identified as the world’s best place for glass making. He heard stories of Iranian manufacturers taking glass bottles through Turkey and into Italy, lowering the price of competing products still sold there. He participated in a company that manufactures glass bottles for the pharmaceutical industry and exports them all over Europe.

He bought shares of a software producer that was creating inventory management systems for Iranian companies, instead of the crude spreadsheets used by many. He bought into an Iranian copper mine.

Then, in May 2018, President Trump canceled American participation in the Iran nuclear deal and re-imposed sanctions. Mr Wajtal was forced to sell its largest holding, a utility that was exclusive to the sale of water and natural gas in southwestern Iran. It appeared on the sanctions list.

The ordinary Iranians rushed to exchange for the dollar, the domestic currency, the real, whose value dropped by about 1 percent in 2018.

There was a weak currency good news for Iranian exporters. They used Real to pay their employees and to buy materials, but earned dollars for their sales. Their profits have skyrocketed. So did their share price.

Mr. Wojtal bought shares in petrochemical companies that export urea, a component of agricultural fertilizers and methanol, used in fuel and antifreeze. He bought companies that mined zinc and iron ore. They sell their wares in exchange for dollars to domestic producers of steel.

After losing 20 percent in 2018, Mr Woztal’s portfolio has grown by about 170 percent over the past year.

Mr Vaztal bought shares of an Iranian company that produces toothpaste and soap. He took part in a dishwashing liquid manufacturer. Both had previously competed against the Chinese brand. Their income has increased fourfold.

His most successful bet was the Gorgi Biscuit. Not only did the Iranians sprinkle their snacks, the company was exporting one-fourth of its goods to Iraq, earning dollars.

He is currently managing around nine million euros (about $ 1 million) with 20 wealthy people from Britain, Germany, Sweden, Switzerland, Belgium and Poland from He aims to raise funds 10 times “as soon as possible”.

Realizing this goal will lead to a lot of publicity about Iran.

It may require constant adjustment of circumstances beyond its control.

“The risks are obvious,” he said. “This is geopolitics.”

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