$3.75 billion reserved for Iran bond issue

The Central Bank of Iran has been authorized to issue $3.75 billion in bonds this year, the deputy governor of the bank said on Saturday. 

“The Monetary and Credit Council approved allowing the Central Bank to issue 100,000 billion rials of bonds in the current year and the bank will publish papers whenever it feels a need for them,” Peyman Qorbani said.

The current Iranian year ends in March 2016 and 100,000 billion rials roughly sells for $3.74 billion at the official parity rate.

The last time the Central Bank of Iran issued bonds was in late February 2015 when about $800 million worth of financial assets were offered with a six-month maturity at an interest rate of 23%.

Iran is hard pressed for hard currency amid intensified US-led sanctions and a sharp decline in the prices of oil which constitutes a bulk of the country’s earnings.

The government usually turns to the banks to fund development projects or pay the salaries of the state employees and institutions.

On Saturday, the Fars news agency, citing central bank figures, reported that the bank’s bad loans had reached a whopping 5,071 trillion rials ($203 billion).

However, deputy head of National Development Fund Mohammad Qasem Hosseini said the government had deposited close to $12 billion from oil revenues in the kitty over the past year.

According to the law, 20% of oil income has to be transferred to the fund to finance development projects and the private sector, allowing the government to dip into the assets during rainy days.

By Press TV