Iran lets money exchange houses import foreign bills as rial sinks
[UK.REUTERS] Iran gave permission to money exchange offices on Saturday to start importing foreign currency banknotes, state media reported, in an apparent attempt to stop the rial from plunging to a new low against the dollar.

Iran’s currency has lost about two-thirds of its value this year, hitting a record low earlier this week of 150,000 rial to the U.S. dollar. It recovered to trade at 130,000 per dollar on Saturday in unofficial trade, according to the Bonbast.com currency market website.

The rial has been hit by a weak economy, financial difficulties at local banks and strong demand for safe-haven dollars among Iranians.

Many Iranians fear Washington’s pulling out of a 2015 nuclear deal and renewed U.S. sanctions will cut into Iran’s exports of oil and other goods, which would likely put further pressure on the rial.

A set of U.S. sanctions targeting Iran’s oil industry is due to take effect in November.

Posted by: Fred 2018-09-09