Iranian central bank to keep official currency rate unchanged this year
Azerbaijan, Baku, June 18/Trend M. Moezzi
The Central Bank of Iran (CBI) will not change its official currency exchange rate of 12,260 rials to the dollar this year.
Mahmoud Bahmani, the Central Bank's chief, said the official rate will stay the same until the market equilibrium point is reached, the Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) reports.
The Bank will continue its policy of pre-selling gold coins until their price bubble is broken, Bahmani said.
This winter worries about Iran's economy and the effects of sanctions imposed by the United States and its allies drove Iranians toward the foreign currency and gold coin markets and pushed their prices to all-time highs.
To help calm the market, the CBI announced in late January that the dollar would be sold at a single rate, 12,260 rials.Since then, the dollar's price has ranged from 20,000 to more than 17,000 rials on Iran's free currency market.
Bahmani expressed his satisfaction with how the Central Bank and Iran's other banks have performed and said data shows the banks have put all their resources at customers' disposal.
The CBI chief continued to defend the bank's decision to withdraw money from Iran's banks on two occasions for what it had called the foreign currency differential. Bahmani said the withdrawals were legally required.
In mid-March the Central Bank withdrew billions of dollars from the accounts of some Iranian banks. The CBI explained the move as collecting the difference between the price of government-rate foreign currency it had provided the banks and how much they had sold that currency for.