The material on this site is for financial institutions, professional investors and their professional advisers. It is for information only. Please read our Terms & Conditions, Privacy Policy and Cookies before using this site. Please see our Subscription Terms and Conditions.

All material subject to strictly enforced copyright laws. © 2022 Euromoney, a part of the Euromoney Institutional Investor PLC.

The long business arm of the Iranian state

After the Iranian Revolution overthrew the Shah in 1979 and the Grand Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini launched the Islamic Republic that exists today, there were a lot of assets the Shah and his followers had left behind as they fled Iran.

These assets and those of his followers were gathered together as a bonyad, or charitable foundation, originally called the Bonyad Mostazafan and now called the Mostazafan Foundation of Islamic Revolution. It was to be invested in a range of economic sectors with a proportion of profits set aside “for the miserable people: that’s what Mostazafan means,” says Behzad Golkar, CEO at Sina Financial & Investment, one of the holding companies within the Foundation.

He’s very specific about the word miserable, as opposed to poor: it has a focus on providing for the disabled and oppressed.

It is an enormous enterprise. Golkar says the foundation is made up of 200 individual companies split across 19 holding companies; Sina is just one of those holding companies yet includes a bank, two brokerages, mutual funds, an insurer and a leasing business, with plans to build an investment bank well underway.

You have reached premium content. Please log in to continue reading.

Read beyond the headlines with Euromoney

For over 50 years, our readers have looked to Euromoney to stay informed about the issues that matter in the international banking and financial markets. Find out more about our different levels of access below.


Unlimited access to and

Expert comment, long reads and in-depth analysis interviews with senior finance professionals

Access the results of our market-leading annual surveys across core financial services

Access the results of our annual awards, including the world-renowned Awards for Excellence

Your print copy of Euromoney magazine delivered monthly

£73.75 per month

Billed Annually


Unlimited access to and, including our top stories, long reads, expert analysis, and the results of our annual surveys and awards

Sign up to any of our newsletters, curated by our editors


Already a user?

We use cookies to provide a personalized site experience.
By continuing to use & browse the site you agree to our Privacy Policy.
I agree