Iranian fund eyes healthcare JVs, investment with a focus on Europe

The move comes amid growing tensions between Iran and the U.S.

The Iranian sovereign fund IFIC says it is looking to invest in healthcare in a bid to help improves the lives of Iranians.

This is according to Vahid Sharif, an investment manager at the 20-year-old, $5 billion fund, who spoke to Reuters at this week’s Global Sovereign Wealth Forum in London, U.K.

While currently injecting cash into nearly two dozen companies, predominately in the financial and heavy industry sectors, Sharif told the newswire that the IFIC “was focusing on opportunities in the healthcare industry, such as pharmaceuticals to tackle cancer and Alzheimer's,” as well as high-tech industries.

He said that investments could be made by taking minority stakes in companies, or through joint ventures. “We want to transfer knowledge to Iranians,” Sharif said.

In terms of geography, the fund is looking to Europe for now, while also looking at Japan and South Korea.

There was no mention of the U.S., which want to deepen sanctions against the country, with President Donald Trump telling Iran last month that “there’s a new president in town” and that his administration would not “sit by” and allow the country to pursue its military ambitions.