IMF revises estimates of Iran’s reserves following CBI objection

April 16, 2021 - 15:56

TEHRAN - The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has revised its estimate of Iran’s total gross official reserves to $115 billion, following the Central Bank of Iran (CBI)’s objection about the fund’s incorrect estimates of the mentioned index.

Earlier this week, CBI Governor Abdolnasser Hemmati rejected as flawed and unverified IMF’s recent data which suggested that Iran’s gross official reserves declined significantly in 2020 to only $4 billion. 

Hemmati wrote in an Instagram post on Tuesday that IMF’s estimate about the state of Iran’s reserves is reflective of the organization’s mistaken approach towards the Iranian economy.

As reported by IRNA, in an official email to CBI, the IMF, while regretting the misunderstanding, announced that the previous estimates have been based on assumptions of the country’s "usable reserves" and its estimate of Iran's "total gross official reserves" is in fact $115 billion.

There are still problems with the fund's other estimates, and the central bank is following up to address these problems, according to Hemmati.

In a report published earlier this month about general economic indicators in economies of West and Central Asia, the IMF said Iran’s official reserves had declined from $122.5 billion in 2018 to $12.4 billion in 2019.

Tables published in the report showed that the reserves had further dwindled by over 67.7 percent last year to settle at $4 billion.

The U.S. sanctions on Iran have cut off the country’s banking system from the rest of the world with private and state-owned banks unable to process international payments.

CBI had earlier criticized the IMF for refusing to process an Iranian request for a $5-billion loan that the country needs to tackle the economic impacts of the coronavirus pandemic.

The new IMF data, however, shows that Iran was in positive economic growth in the previous year after the U.S.-based organization revised up its estimates about the country’s gross domestic products (GDP).

Tables of the recent IMF report show that Iran’s GDP would grow by 2.5 percent this year and by another 2.1 percent in 2022.


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