Iran central bank head says rial drop belied by positive signs

Iranian Central Bank Governor Valiollah Seif said recent weakness in the country’s currency, the rial, is out of step with “positive” economic developments.
The rial weakened to 32,000 rials against the U.S. dollar at 12:00 p.m. in Tehran on Sunday, from 31,750 on Saturday, taking the decline since April 12 to 3.75 percent, according to figures compiled by Daily Rates for Gold Coins & Foreign Currencies, a Facebook page used by traders and companies in Iran and abroad.
“The currency’s fluctuation in recent days is not in line with positive signs regarding the economy,” Seif said, according to a statement posted on the bank’s website on Saturday.
The depreciation reflects “opinions that aren’t based on correct information” and are fueling short-term volatility, Seif said, without elaborating.
The Tehran-based Donya-e-Eqtesad newspaper reported on Sunday that there is speculation in the market of a shortage of foreign currency in the country.
Iran’s Foreign Ministry last week said the government had $2.55 billion of unfrozen assets as part of an interim deal with world powers in November to limit the country’s nuclear activities. The amount, which consists of more than half of a total of $4.2 billion to be released, have been deposited in the central bank, deputy foreign minister Abbas Araqchi said on April 18.
(Source: Bloomberg)

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