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Tehran Stock Exchange: The end of an illusion

Many Iranian investors have recently seen the value of their portfolios drop significantly due to governmental overregulation in times of market growth.
Iranian men monitor the stock market at Tehran Stock Exchange on July 1, 2019. - Iran's stock market is thriving, despite US sanctions which have battered its economy and an uncertain future as geopolitical tensions soar in the Gulf. Its main index, TEDPIX, has steadily risen over the last 12 months, accelerating in the most recent quarter to hit a historic high of 248,577 last week -- more than twice its level a year ago. (Photo by ATTA KENARE / AFP)        (Photo credit should read ATTA KENARE/AFP via Get

In an economy besieged by sanctions and handicapped by corruption, the Tehran Stock Exchange offered a rare opportunity for making profits and creating wealth. That opportunity, however, has proved to be a mirage.

From a peak index of 2,065,114, the exchange — known as the TSE — fell to 1,631,941 last week, signaling a 20% drop, erasing millions of dollars of value of different portfolios and financial asset holdings. Iranian investors took to social media to share screenshots of their portfolios with all stocks in the red. Cartoonists found a new subject, while many individual investors mourned the loss of their savings in a market that many had promised to be risk-free.

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