Some 70 percent of loans paid by Iran's Forex Fund deferred

Baku, Azerbaijan, Nov. 21

By Umid Niayesh, Saeed Isayev - Trend: About 70 percent of previously loaned money has not yet been returned by Iran's private sector to Iran's Forex Fund (also known as National Development Fund), Iranian MP, Hadi Ghavami said, Shargh newspaper reported on Nov. 21.

Previously, the Fund gave some cheap-rated $16 billion worth of loans to the country's private sector, which was supposed to be paid back, with an interest rate of 4 percent, according to Ghavami.

The newspaper stated that the country's administration failed to return the deferred loans to Iran's Forex Fund during the last several years. It also said that Iranian president Hassan Rouhani`s administration is preparing a new bill on the issue.

The bill says that the loaned money should be paid back in national currency (rial), based on the current rial/USD rate.

Amid contradictory statistics announced in recent weeks by Iranian officials about the assets of the National Development Fund, Head of the State Inspectorate Organization, Nasser Seraj, put the figure at $54.5 billion.

On November 4, Seraj referred to contradictory data which was announced over the NDF assets asserting that the fund holds $54.5 billion.

Data about the NDF assets varies between $32 billion and $50 billion. First Vice President Es'haq Jahangiri has said the fund holds $32 billion, while ex-president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad put the figure at $50 billion.

Meanwhile, ex-Governor of the Central Bank of Iran Mahmoud Bahmani and the Chief of Staff of President Hassan Rouhani, Mohamamd Nahavandian, have announced that the fund holds $40 billion.

According to Seraj, some $24 billion of the assets have been handed over to the banking system to be allocated for the implementation of development projects. The Central Bank has drawn over $18 billion from the fund for different purposes he added, but did not provide any information about the remaining $12 billion.

The NDF was established in 2010. The NDF assets amounted to $49.9 billion in the past Iranian calendar year, he said.

Iran transfers 20 percent of its oil revenue to the NDF.

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