News ID: 202229
Published: 0419 GMT October 11, 2017

Italy's Azimut seals deal to become first foreign fund to operate in Iran

Italy's Azimut seals deal to become first foreign fund to operate in Iran

An Italian asset manager purchased stakes in an Iranian financial company to become the first foreign fund house to invest in the nation's financial sector.

Financial Times reported that Azimut, a €48-billion group headquartered in Milan, had acquired 20 percent of Mofid Entekhab, an Iranian asset manager, for an undisclosed sum.

"We were looking for an opportunity to invest in a very interesting market. Iran is a great story," it quoted Sergio Albarelli, chief executive of Azimut, as saying.

Azimut said it and Mofid Entekhab had ensured that the partnership would be compliant with economic sanctions requirements.

Mofid Entekhab is part of Iran's privately held Mofid Group, the largest brokerage firm and financial advisory in Iran with $89 million in assets. Entekhab was carved out from its Mofid Securities business last year, Financial Times reported.

Azimut would buy the stake through AZ International Holdings, its Luxembourg-based unit. Azimut and Mofid also plan to establish a fund, domiciled in Luxembourg, for foreign investors to invest in Iran.

"Our strategic goal is now to capitalize on our track record as the leading financial intermediary in Iran and create with Azimut a benchmark for the local asset management industry," Hamid Azaraksh, chairman of Mofid Securities, was quoted as saying by Financial Times.

He said his clients "will be able to access a new suite of financial advisory and wealth management services in line with the highest international standards".

On the same front, Azimut announced in a statement posted on its website that the agreement it had signed in Tehran envisaged developing a range of investment strategies in local asset classes, building a local trained sales force to provide financial advisory and wealth management services and launching offshore funds for foreign investors.

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