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EghtesadOnline: Iranian banks doled out loans worth 569.7 trillion rials ($15.1 billion) to economic sectors during the first two months of the new Iranian year (ended May 21), registering a growth of 16% compared with the same period of the previous year.

According to the latest data made available by the Central Bank of Iran, the services sector took home the lion's share of the banking system's credits. The capital received by service-sector companies exceeded 230 trillion rials ($6.1 billion), accounting for 40.4% of all the loan books of banks and credit institutions.

The next major recipients of credits were industries and mining, as well as business sector. The former with 187.5 trillion rials ($5 billion) and the latter with 64.6 trillion rials ($1.7 billion) accounted for 32% and 11.35% of the total loans, respectively.

This is while the key housing sector—by bagging only 43 trillion rials ($1.1 billion) which accounted for 7.5% of all the credits—had the smallest share of loans among all economic sectors, which reflects the industry's prolonged recession, Financial Tribune reported.

Iranian banks have faced pressure from politicians to direct more of their funds toward production and beleaguered industrial units despite their high ratio of bad debts and thin capital positions.  

According to the CBI report, the better portion of the banking system's business lending during the two-month period–at 67.8%–has gone to meet the working capital demands of enterprises.   

CBI data also show that industries and mines were propped up by banks, allotting 88% of the credits to satisfy their working capital needs. With the sector being a major guzzler of credits, their working capital loans stood at 164.7 trillion rials ($4.4 billion).

As cited in the report, almost all economic sectors have received most of their credits in the form of working capital loans.

With regard to the number of loans doled out during the period, banks extended 678,780 loans to different sectors, with the services sector again pocketing the largest number at 372,073 loans, which equal 54.8% of the total figure.

Agriculture sector received a fair number of loans but in terms of average value, the figure stood at 350 million rials ($9,300), which is the smallest among all the sectors.

Iran banks Iran bank loans