Iran plans to change national currency system in near future

Business Materials 10 August 2008 19:15 (UTC +04:00)

Iran plans to change its national currency system in the near future, Iran's Central Bank chief said Sunday.

"Due to inflation, we either have to make new bank notes and coins or introduce a new currency instead of the Rial," Tahmasseb Mazaheri was quoted by official news agency IRNA as saying.

Due to an inflation rate of almost 30 per cent - in some cases even up to 50 per cent - the current bank notes can no longer correspond to the prices and people have to take a lot of cash with them for shopping.

The notes start with 500 Rials (about 5 cents) and end with 50,000 Rials (5.30 dollars). The coins are de facto worthless, the dpa reported.

"We still work on the process but hope to finalize a new currency system within the next three months," the Central Bank chief said.

He also called for an expansion of the credit card system in Iran which he said could solve the people's problem of having to carry too much cash.

Although there is currently a local credit card system in Iran, many shops do not accept them. Also cash dispensers do not always work properly.