Tehran stock market can help banks cede excess assets

Financial Tribune – The governor of the Central Bank of Iran on Monday urged lenders to tap into the stock market to divest shares and get rid of their non-financial assets.

In a directive to CEO of banks and credit institutions, Abdolnasser Hemmati instructed them to use the opportunity created by the growing tendency among the public to invest in stocks, CBI’s website reported.

Lenders are under mounting government pressure to end their controversial non-banking activities by getting rid of expensive real estate and surplus holdings.

Authorities in Tehran estimate that non-financial assets of lenders to be worth 1,000 trillion rials ($6.3 billion). The assets have piled up mainly due to impaired loans, bad debts, settlement of government debts to banks, closure of branches and disastrous investments.