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CBI Intent on Recovering Soured Assets
CBI Intent on Recovering Soured Assets

CBI Intent on Recovering Soured Assets

CBI Intent on Recovering Soured Assets

Close to half of all the assets of the Iranian banking system are non-performing and the governor of the Central Bank of Iran says his bank endeavors to recover these assets and return them to the lending cycle.

"More than 44% of all the assets of the banking system are sour assets that cannot be used for lending purposes. It is our goal to return these assets to the main cycle of banking activities and transform them into loans," Valiollah Seif was quoted as saying by Banker.ir.

Speaking during a visit to a private sector production unit in Fars Province, Seif announced that 120 trillion rials ($3billion at market exchange rate) worth of working capital loans have been doled out to businesses so far "and this process will continue".

The CBI chief said the central bank plans to allocate 160 trillion rials ($4 billion) worth of loans to 7,500 production units but considering the important role small- and medium-sized enterprises play in economic growth by "creating the grounds for economic development even in the most remote parts of the country", the CBI decided to keep providing capital to these businesses beyond that level.

By definition, enterprises run by 100 workers or less, and 50 workers or less are considered SMEs respectively, according to Iran’s Small Industries and Industrial Parks Organization.

In July, it was announced that 96% of the 88,000 licensed Iranian businesses are considered small- and medium-sized.

CBI officials have repeatedly emphasized the importance of bankrolling them.

"Our banking system has the capacity to distribute 4.5 quadrillion rials ($115 billion) worth of loans a year and the volume of all the loans handed out by the banking system last year equaled 4.1 quadrillion rials ($106 billion)," he said. "We predict that the number will reach 5 quadrillion rials ($127.87 billion) this year."

The CBI governor noted that provincial groups working to remove obstacles to production have played an effective role and pointed to Fars Province "and potentials that have been created in it" as a prime example.

Seif said the goal must be to create circumstances under which up to 90% of the assets of the banking system turn into loans that could be allocated to businesses and production units and "if that happens, we can deem the banking system to be effective".

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