USD unchanged, Euro and pound fall at Iran’s free market

Business Materials 18 May 2013 15:56 (UTC +04:00)

Azerbaijan, Baku, May.18/ Trend F.Karimov/

U.S. dollar remained unchanged, but Euro and British pound declined at Iran's free market today compared with Thursday, the Mehr News Agency reported.

U.S. dollar was priced at 35,150 rials.

Euro and pound were sold at 45,700 rials and 54,000 rials, compared with 45,900 rials and 54,400 rials on Thursday.

Meanwhile, the Tehran Forex center was officially inaugurated on September 24, 2012. It allows importers of goods to buy dollars at a rate 2 percent cheaper than the street rate at any given time.

However, the government maintains an official reference rate of 12,260 rials to the dollar, but only a limited amount of foreign exchange is available at this rate.

Iranian government plans to use revenues from petrochemical sales and 14.5 percent of its oil revenues to provide dollars for the center, central bank governor Mahmoud Bahmani said in September, 2012.

"With the distribution of currency in this center, the exchange rate in the market will go down, because some of the demand (for dollars) will be met in this center and the pressure of demand will be removed," Bahmani was quoted as saying.

The U.S. and EU have placed restrictions on dealings with Iran's Central Bank - the only official channel for Iranians to transfer money abroad - and Swift, the body that handles global banking transactions, has cut Iran's banks out of its system.

The government said in July that it had $150b in foreign currency reserves to help cushion the blow of the sanctions.