Iran Economy in Brief – No. 45

Three Foreign Banks in Iran

Vice Governor of the Central Bank of Iran, Payman Ghorbani, has announced that three foreign banks have started the process of opening branches in Iran. These are Muscat SAOG Bank of Oman, Woori Bank of South Korea and India’s UCO Bank Ltd. In the absence of major European banks in resuming financial activities with Iran due to fear of violating the remaining US sanctions, smaller banks can lubricate the transfer of money to and from Iran to some extent, in addition of their own business activities.

Exchange Your Money at ATMno45

The electronic exchange machines, newly installed by the Shahr Bank and licensed by the Central Bank of Iran, allow foreign travelers to Iran to exchange their Euro or US dollars to Iranian Rial without any intermediary and without paying a commission. After checking the identity of the traveler, ATMs issue credit cards to a maximum value of 150 million Iranian Rials, equivalent to 5000 USD, using the official exchange rate, i.e. lower than the market exchange rate. Exchange ATMs comply with all the regulations regarding the entry and exit of foreign currency and money laundering as set forth by the Central Bank of Iran.

1 USD is equivalent to 31600 IRR and 36000 IRR, at official and market exchange rates respectively.

Automatic Cashiers still in negotiation

When presenting the budget bill, the Government planned to increase its income through tax payments by almost 15%, from 88000 billion IRR in the Iranian fiscal year 1394 (March 2015-2016) to 101 billion IRR in the current year (March 2016-2017). The increase in tax payments was supposed to be calculated by setting automatic cashiers at shops, which could communicate and register the annual turnover of small businesses as well as others. After a however, very little has been reached in equipping shops to such cashiers. Lack of cultural preparation and soft legal consequences has caused the plan not to be taken very seriously at Bazars.