Iranian banks to sell over $4b worth of excess assets

December 1, 2019

TEHRAN – Iran’s Finance and Economic Affairs Minister Farhad Dejpasand has announced that over 170 trillion rials (about $4.04 billion) worth of Iranian banks’ excess properties have been put for sale as part of a plan to reform the country’s banking sector, IRIB reported.

Speaking on Saturday in a ceremony for unveiling a website designed for this purpose, Dejpasand said the plan is a step toward liberalizing the banks' resources to provide facilities for the country’s productive sector and to create more jobs.

Mentioning the fact that the excess assets of the country’s banks are much more than what has currently been offered for sale, the official noted that in this phase only 170 trillion rials of such properties will be offered for sale.

“The mentioned assets could also be auctioned in collaboration with the stock exchange,” he said.

Some of the mentioned properties include 1,246 factory units and more than 277 livestock production units which investors can purchase or manage based on their expertise and experience.

According to the official, the proceeds from this plan will be injected into the banks again and the government won’t be the beneficiary in any case.

Back in October, Dejpasand announced that a one-year program is underway for 10 government-owned banks (including the biggest lenders) to relinquish the excess assets–mostly real estate – and increase their cash reserves. 

Speaking in a meeting with the CEOs of government-owned banks, he noted that the ministry will follow up on the provided solutions in the program through relevant authorities until it reaches a conclusion.

Iran’s banking industry is suffering, among other things, from issues such as poor balance sheets, capital inadequacy, inability to recover non-performing loans to the tune of billions of dollars, arcane rules, and dubious operations of illegal credit institutions that have been punishing the economy for years. 

In late August, Governor of Central Bank of Iran (CBI) Abdolnasser Hemmati said the bank has been working hard to reform the banking system long grappling with mismanagement and financial indiscipline.

EF/MA

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