Tehran stock exchange
A trader speaks with a stock market official beneath the electronic board at the Tehran stock exchangeReuters

News agency Thomson Reuters is exploring business opportunities in Iran in the event of international sanctions against the Islamic republic being lifted.

Earlier, the Wall Street Journal reported that Iran's Tehran Stock Exchange was in talks to share its trading data with the news provider once the main sanctions against the country were lifted.

Hassan Qalibaf, chief executive of the Tehran Stock Exchange, told WSJ that a meeting between representatives of Thomson Reuters and officials of the exchange was held on 9 April during the officials' recent visit to London.

"They are interested in disseminating the trading data of the Tehran capital market," he told WSJ.

Qalibaf added that Tehran's bourse is an "untouched market" in terms of foreign investment, with overseas investors holding just 1% of the shares listed on the exchange, compared to about 60% on average at other exchanges across the Middle East.

Reuters later confirmed the meeting between the companies in London.

"Thomson Reuters complies with all sanction rules and regulations," a Thomson Reuters spokeswoman said.

"Consistent with these rules, the meeting was used to express mutual interest in exploring potential business opportunities should sanctions permit and the opportunity be aligned with our business objectives."

The spokeswoman added that the parties had reached no agreement of any type on the matter during the meeting.

Thomson Reuters supplies news to media clients in Iran, as is permitted under the sanctions imposed on the country by global powers.

The exchange's visit to London was seen as the latest attempt by Iran to attract investments to its embattled economy after reaching an interim agreement to partially lift sanctions with six world powers.

In November 2013, a group of global powers including the US, Russia and Great Britain agreed to limited sanctions relief in exchange for Iran's six-month suspension of some nuclear activities.

The deal between Iran and six world powers was reached in Geneva on 24 November and is dubbed the Geneva Joint Plan of Action.

Following the deal, Iranian investors flocked to the Tehran Stock Exchange, resulting in a 130% rise in its benchmark index in 2013. The exchange is one of the largest financial centres in the Middle East.

Due to the current sanctions targeting the financial sector of the economy, it is virtually impossible for Western banks to invest in the country.