Economy, Business And Markets

Norway Opens Wealth Fund to Iranian Bonds

Norway Opens Wealth Fund to Iranian BondsNorway Opens Wealth Fund to Iranian Bonds

Norway opened its $810 billion wealth fund to Iranian government bonds, as the Middle Eastern nation emerges from almost a decade of international sanctions following a deal to limit its nuclear program.

Norway has had sanctions in place on investing in Iranian government bonds since January 2014, according to a statement from the Finance Ministry in Oslo.

The ban was lifted on Jan. 16, 2016, as Iran met its initial obligations under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, Bloomberg quoted the ministry as saying.

“As part of this easing, the prohibition against buying Iranian government bonds falls away,” Norway said.

Iran may be a perfect fit for the world’s biggest wealth fund, which has been expanding in emerging markets as it seeks to boost returns. Iran’s economy is growing faster than almost any other in the Middle East and its bonds pay twice as much as Russia’s and Turkey’s. Yields exceed 20% on about $4.5 billion of short-term securities sold by state and private borrowers in Iran.

The allure of Iran’s debt market is also likely to grow, as the country moves closer to securing credit ratings that will allow it to issue Eurobonds.

Fourteen years after Moody’s withdrew its speculative score of B2, the government said it is talking to international ratings firms for new grades.