July 19, 2015 | 8:46pm
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif Photo: Getty Images
Corporate America will lead the next round of deals with Iran.
Just ask Hans Humes, the CEO of $1 billion hedge fund Greylock
Capital, who believes the country is ripe for American investment after
he spent nine eye-opening days last month in the Islamic Republic.
“You can’t imagine a better business environment for Westerners
coming in,” said Humes, ticking off the country’s attributes, including a
highly educated, young population that is more wary of religion and
enamored of all things Western.
US companies like Pizza Hut see the country — with 78 million people —
as their next big market after sanctions are lifted, he added.
Western oil companies are reportedly primed to invest $100 billion to
fix the country’s decrepit energy infrastructure, while car companies
are gearing up to re-enter the country after being all but barred for
Iran reached a historic agreement
last week with six nations, led by the US, to limit its nuclear
capabilities. Still, it could be two years before sanctions are finally
eased, foreign investment begins and a capital market develops, Humes
Humes is known for being first on the ground into exotic emerging
markets, typically buying distressed debt and then helping countries
Iran isn’t quite ready for that. The hedgie tried unsuccessfully to
get a meeting with the country’s top central banker — “just as a
courtesy call” — and was detained briefly for his effort.
But that hasn’t dimmed his interest. “I’m not really chasing anything
particular. It happens to be really cool, so I wanted to see what it
was like,” he told The Post.