0917 GMT March 07, 2021
The president of the Securities and Exchange Organization of Iran (SEO), the body regulating the stock market in the country, tendered his resignation amid claims that poor management of the bourse is to blame for the steep fall in prices of shares in recent weeks, Press TV reported.
Hassan Qalibaf-Asl, appointed as SEO’s head in February, said in a resignation letter addressed to Iran’s finance minister on Tuesday that conditions needed to boost the market for both investors and listed companies were not good enough for him to continue in the role.
Iran’s High Council of the Bourse, which convened for a meeting later on Tuesday, will decide on the resignation. During a high-profile economic meeting, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani called on the council to take firm action to increase transparency in the stock market and to protect the rights of investors.
Qalibaf-Asl, a former 10-year president of the Tehran Stock Exchange (TSE), is resigning amid public outcry over the persistent fall in share prices in the TSE in recent months.
TSE’s main index, TEDPIX, has nearly halved since August when it was hovering around two million points. The index rose slightly by 385 points to 1.15 million points on Tuesday, mainly on Qalibaf-Asl’s resignation announcement.
Qalibaf-Asl oversaw a series of historic divestments of government-run companies, which included a sell-off for valuable shares of banks and oil refineries.
He was also in charge when the government allowed trading for tens of millions of vested shares of state-run companies held by poor and middle-class Iranians.
Experts believe TEDPIX has been falling mainly because Iran’s rial is regaining its lost value against foreign currencies. They say a stronger rial means lower profits for export companies listed in the stock market, prompting many investors to sell their shares over fears they would further drop in value.