Iran government to create parallel currency market – CBI chief
Tehran, Iran, June 25
By A. Shirazi - Trend:
The head of the Central Bank of Iran said the government plans to create a parallel market next week in a bid to combat the black market and facilitate the trade of foreign currencies in the country.
“The details of the secondary market have been written up,” Valiollah Seif said on June 25, Tasnim news agency reported.
He added that the creation of the market would cut out the middlemen and stop them trading currencies in the country’s alleys.
Seif said the government will use 20 percent of its revenues from non-oil exports to import non-essential goods at an agreed rate.
“A system is being developed that can determine which goods have been imported into the country using the US dollar at the rate of 42,000 rials,” he said.
The decision came after the Iranian rial plunged to a record low against the US dollar on the unofficial market on Sunday, continuing its slide amid fears of returning US sanctions after President Donald Trump in May withdrew from a deal on Tehran’s nuclear program.
The dollar was being offered for as much as 87,000 rials, compared to around 75,500 on Thursday, the last trading day before Iran’s weekend, according to foreign exchange websites, which track the unofficial market.
The fall of the national currency has provoked a public outcry over the quick rise of prices of imported consumer goods.
Merchants at the mobile phone shopping centers Aladdin and Charsou in central Tehran protested against the rapid depreciation of the rial by shutting down their shops on Sunday, Iranian media reported.
Hours later, Information and Communications Technology Minister Mohammad Javad Azari-Jahromi said on Twitter that he visited the protesting merchants.
“I will try to help provide hard currency for (mobile) equipment (imports),” Azari-Jahromi wrote, adding, “The merchants’ activity has now gone back to normal.”
In an effort to halt the slide, Iranian authorities announced in April they were unifying the dollar’s official and black market exchange rates at a single level of 42,000, and banning any trade at other rates under the threat of arrest.