In our last post we focused primarily on Saudi Arabia and the impact of its domestic and foreign policy agenda over the course of 2017. We now turn our attention to another major regional power, a country which has also had an eventful year.
2017 in Iran was a story of two elections – most importantly its own, in which incumbent Rouhani won by an overwhelming majority, much to the relief of the international community. However, Trump’s victory in the US promised trouble for the Iran nuclear agreement brokered by his predecessor Barack Obama, and so it proved when in October the president refused to re-certify the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). The US looks isolated on this issue, with European and multilateral partners standing by the deal, and the question of what to do next sits with Congress where the issue appears to be on the backburner.
Meanwhile Rouhani’s policy of re-engaging with international investors is taking effect, although not quickly enough for many in Iran who are impatient to see quick wins. Diligencia’s Iran desk has been flat out with requests from clients who are understandably keen to answer all compliance and due diligence concerns as they re-engage with counterparties in Iran.
- Total number of Iran projects carried out by Diligencia in 2017: 1,121
- Top sectors requested: Petrochemical; Automotive; Banking
- Top investing countries: France, Japan, Germany
- Highest number of companies searched as part of a single UBO request: 43 (see network diagram below)
For Diligencia, 2017 was a year in which we saw a dramatic growth and surge of interest in our online platform ClarifiedBy.com, particularly towards the latter half of the year when we invested in marketing and announced our partnerships with Lexis Nexis and Arachnys.
Over the last 12 months we have made several improvements to the platform, such as the addition of individual shareholder searches, interactive network diagrams, sector profiles and the addition of a user dashboard to track recent activity. In the coming months we have more exciting developments in the pipeline, such as improved PDF reports which give more details on the sources of our information, enhanced profiles on family offices in the Gulf and the wider MENA region, and an active monitoring function for a select group of companies…watch this space.
It only remains to thank our customers and those who have followed Diligencia’s progress over the course of 2017, and to wish you happiness, success and clarity in the year to come.