Men use their smartphones to follow election news as posters of Iran's President Hassan Rouhani are seen in Tehran, Iran May 17, 2017. REUTERS
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In February 2016, Helga Kern boarded a plane to Iran, registered with the depository to trade stocks and within weeks opened a broker account and started buying shares, all with the aim of launching an Iran fund for Western investors.Logistics and politics, both inside and outside Iran, have made it hard to translate the excitement into actual foreign fund flows.Iran's Securities and Exchange Organization, however, is keen to stress foreign interest is high and things are actually moving. It told Reuters in an email that foreign investment in Iranian securities and mutual funds had risen by between 100 and 250 percent since the nuclear deal.Clemente Cappello, chief investment officer at Sturgeon Capital, an asset manager which set up a specialist Iran fund in late 2015, estimates that less than 50 million euros of portfolio flows have gone into Tehran stocks in the past two years.Sturgeon is not the only foreign fund in Iran. Frontier asset manager Charlemagne Capital launched a joint-venture with Iran's Turquoise Partners in January 2016 .The SOE acknowledged the difficulties of transferring money in and out of Iran.
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