EghtesadOnline: The Export Development Bank of Iran and the National Development Fund of Iran have agreed to add another 10 trillion rials ($256.4 million) to the previous 23 trillion rials ($589.7 million) meant to empower specialized banks to allocate cheap loans to boost non-oil exports, EDBI’s head of Credit Department announced.
“These loans, with an interest rate of 14%, will be offered to active enterprises that export non-oil commodities through three specialized banks, namely Export Development Bank of Iran, Bank of Industry and Mine, and Agriculture Bank,” Reza Saedifar was also quoted as saying by Eximnews.ir.
The credits are part of a major monetary stimulus package initiated by the administration of President Hassan Rouhani whose government struggles to save industrial units and many small businesses facing depressed demand after weathering a long and painful recession.
In June 2017, the Iranian Parliament approved a bill allowing the government to take out $1.5 billion from NDFI for a plan to create jobs in rural and nomadic areas in the fiscal 2017-18, according to Financial Tribune.
As the bill was approved, NDFI allocated $500 million to EDBI as its agent bank to distribute the funds among Iran’s exporting industries. This comes on top of a $12.85 billion package earmarked for the revival of small- and medium-sized enterprises and creation of jobs.
Saedifar also elaborated on EDBI's performance during the first five month of the current Iranian year (started March 21).
The bank’s official noted that since the beginning of the new fiscal year, EDBI has allocated loans worth more than 14.2 trillion rials ($364.1 million) to various economic sectors while the figure was over 30 trillion rials ($769.2 million) for the previous Iranian year.
“We had planned to offer 11.6 trillion rials ($297.4 million) in loans during the first five month of the current fiscal year, but the volume of loans reached 14.2 trillion rials ($364.1 million), 23% more than we anticipated,” he added.
The EDBI official noted that his bank has planned to offer $200 million in foreign exchange loans, about $172 million or 87% of which have so far been allocated.
“EDBI’s non-performing loans ratio has been reduced to 7.7% while we had aimed for 9% and this is while the low NPL ratio indicates that the bank’s situation has improved,” he said.
It was NDFI’s goal to issue letters of credit worth $304 million during the current fiscal while the bank has so far met $247 million or 81% of the set goal.
Saedifar announced that the volume of EDBI’s guarantees in rials and other foreign currencies has registered a growth of 125% and 50%, respectively.
"Iranian startups have received more than 326 billion rials ($8.35 million) from NDFI’s resources while in our [initial] planning, their share did not exceed 64 billion rials ($1.64 million)," he added.
The EDBI official noted that his bank is lenient when it comes to dealing with loan defaulters by taking up the issue with the recipient first and then asking the guarantor to resolve the issue.
Oman Ties Improved
According to EDBI’s CEO Ali Salehabadi, the bank has been providing working capital to Iranian companies exporting technical services to Oman and will finance the ones aiming to equip their work sites or firms needing funds to build refineries, roads and power lines in that country.
“EDBI has allocated €3.6 million for the establishment of a refinery, €5.5 million to establish water transfer pipelines, €1.5 million for road projects and €427,000 to electricity projects,” he said.
Salehabadi announced that banking ties have also improved with Oman.
“We have two accounts in Oman’s Bank of Muscat, one in Omani rial and the other in euro while establishment of correspondent relations with Oman’s Bank Sohar is in its final stages,” EDBI’s CEO said.