Economy, Business And Markets

Global Reconnection

Global Reconnection Global Reconnection

It took the Iranian financial market’s regulator eight years, but the Securities and Exchange Organization has finally joined the International Organization of Securities Commissions, which monitors the world’s securities and futures markets.

Iranian authorities are determined to once again connect Iran with global commerce and business. SEO’s acceptance as an associate member in the 33-year-old organization is part of this trend. It will ease cross-border trading and foreign investment in Iran’s capital markets.

Yet the main connection with the World Trade Organization remains in the works, Mehr News Agency reported.

Iran emerged from years of economic sanctions in January when world powers led by the United States and the European Union lifted crippling sanctions against OPEC’s No. 3 oil producer in return for curbs on Tehran’s nuclear program. Sanctions relief has opened a new chapter in the Islamic Republic’s relations with the world.

IOSCO develops regulatory frameworks and standards, and helps its over 200 members implement them. The Madrid-based organization has a committee specializing in developing emerging markets to help them get up to speed with international standards.

“The SEO’s policy is active and effective membership in IOSCO and its committees,” Bahador Bijani, SEO’s vice-chairman for international & foreign investment affairs, said.

With Iran’s securities markets bidding to get foreign investments, adhering to international standards becomes a must as it “enhances investor protection and promotes investor confidence in the integrity of Iran’s securities markets”, in Bijani’s words.

“The transfer of technology and expertise, along with utilizing IOSCO’s training programs, offers an extraordinary opportunity to Iran’s capital markets,” said Bahadori.

The SEO has been admitted into IOSCO’s African-Middle East Regional Committee and Emerging Markets Committee. The acceptance was confirmed in a letter from IOSCO Secretary-General Paul P. Andrews to SEO President Mohammad Fetanatfard.

The African-Middle East Committee is one of the four regional committees IOSCO divides its members into. Others include the Asia-Pacific Regional Committee, the European Regional Committee and the Inter-American Regional Committee.

The Emerging Markets Committee conducts studies on those markets and suggests ways of improving them. It has 80 ordinary and associate members—plus one non-voting member, the US Securities and Exchange Commission—from Latin America, Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Asia.

According to SEO officials, Iran’s four exchanges, namely Tehran Stock Exchange, Iran Fara Bourse, Iran Mercantile Exchange and Iran Energy Exchange, can join IOSCO as affiliate members if they comply with its regulations.

Furthermore, TSE’s suspension from the World Federation of Exchanges can now be annulled. The London-based organization suspended TSE’s membership because the SEO was not a member of IOSCO.

WFE is a trade association of 64 publicly-regulated stocks, futures and options exchanges. The 54-year-old organization organizes committees, meetings, general assemblies, conferences and workshops for its members to transfer know-how and share expertise.