Shares in arms companies increase after assassination of Qassem Soleimani
Shares in some of the world’s biggest arms companies rose to a combined total of nearly $14bn in the wake of the US assassination of the Iranian commander Qassem Soleimani, with investors expecting a wave of fresh orders. Analysis by the “i” magazine showed that in just 24 hours after the drone strike that killed Soleimani, arms companies had added $10bn to their share value.
Lockheed Martin saw its shares rise by over $4bn in a single day, to $116bn, while the value of the Uks biggest arms company, BAE Systems, rose by nearly £1bn. Northrop Grumman’s share price increased by over 5%.
The value of shares in the Russian company Almaz-Antey also rose. Almaz-Antey produces the state-of-the-art S400 air defence system recently sold to Turkey and sought by the Iranian military – though the sale was rejected by Russia in May 2019.
In December 2019, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) released figures that show the sale of arms and military services in 2018 totally $420bn, a 4.6% increase on 2018. US companies dominated the top 100, with just five American companies making up 35% of the sales of the world’s 100 biggest arms companies.