Minister says Iran's free currency market to be shut down

Business Materials 3 October 2012 14:35 (UTC +04:00)

Azerbaijan, Baku, Oct. 3/ Trend M. Moezzi

Iran's economic minister Seyyed Shamseddin Hosseini said the government won't ration foreign currency, but will close the free currency market, Mehr news agency reported.

Hosseini said the volatility seen in Iran's currency market this week has been in the free market and has nothing to do with the official currency exchange market. The minister could not provide a specific timeline for when the free currency exchange market would be shut down.

The government officially launched the Iran Forex Centre on September 24 in an effort to stop the rial's plunge. Since the centre opened last week a dollar has gone from costing 25,500 rials to 36,200 rials by yesterday (Tuesday) afternoon.

Since its opening, the Forex Centre is moving $100 billion in currency a day, said Mr. Hosseini who strongly denied that the government was profiting from the centre's dealings.

There is no need to ration foreign currency because there is no shortage of it said the minister.

This morning the dollar's exchange rates were not available on Iran's online currency websites. The British pound is currently being exchanged at 58,100 rials for one pound sterling and the Euro is being exchanged at 47,100 rials per one Euro.