News ID: 268985
Published: 0211 GMT May 12, 2020

Iranian banks to sell surplus assets: Deputy minister

Iranian banks to sell surplus assets: Deputy minister

Iranian banks and their subsidiaries will sell surplus assets worth $23.8 billion during the current calendar year starting March 20, said the deputy minister of economic affairs and finance.

Abbas Memarnejad added the banking system has offered shares valued at about $1.7 billion in the country’s stock market since March 20, as part of a plan to reform the domestic banking sector, IRIB reported.

Omid Investment Group, a subsidiary of Bank Sepah, will put up for sale next week the first assets valued at about $16.6 billion.

The deputy minister noted that the value of government shares that are being handed over through exchange-traded funds (ETFs) has currently doubled.

Tehran Stock Exchange (TSE), Iran’s main stock exchange, put the first ETF up for sale on May 2.

The shares to be offered via the Iranian ETFs belong to those governmental bodies defined in Iran’s privatization plan, a comprehensive plan whose implementation is seriously followed up by the government in an effort to reduce its role in the economy.

In October 2019, Minister of Economic Affairs and Finance Farhad Dejpasand announced that a one-year plan is underway to relinquish excess assets – mostly real estate – of 10 government-owned banks (including the biggest lenders) and increase their cash reserves.

Speaking in a meeting with the CEOs of the banks, he noted that the ministry will follow up on the provided solutions in the plan 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 worth billions of dollars, arcane rules, and dubious operations of illegal credit institutions that have been punishing the economy for years.


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