Iran chief banker warns against speculation as currency prices surge

Press TV – The governor of the Central Bank of Iran (CBI) has warned the people against engaging in fresh round of speculative trade of foreign currencies, saying a slight weakening of Iran’s rial over the past days is nothing to worry about.

Abdolnasser Hemmati said on Thursday that “nothing special” had happened with regard to the major indicators of the Iranian economy that could justify the lower price of the rial against the US dollar and other currencies.

Rial was trading at 118,400 against the dollar on Thursday, down 2.6 percent from the previous day and 6.7 percent weaker than prices recorded in late September.

Hemmati, posting a statement on his popular Instagram page, said that speculators were trying to benefit from the domestic and international political developments, especially the sanctions imposed by the United States, to recoup losses suffered during the past months, when rial managed to regain some of the value it had lost.

“I reiterate again that currency is not a proper method of investment and has its own serious risks,” read part of the post by CBI chief.

Rial started its weakening trend against major international currencies early last year when the United States prepared to impose a series of sanctions on Iran after it left an international agreement on Tehran’s nuclear program.

The rial went through historic lows of 190,000 against the dollar in September 2018 but it stabilized on 110,000 a year later as the government adopted a series of policies to diversify the economy, including to allow more exports of non-oil products to increase its access to foreign currencies.

The greenback has already lost its appeal as a tool to protect household savings as many have turned to much safer markets, including shares and bonds, to invest their money.