EghtesadOnline: Iran’s sovereign wealth fund deposited a total of 14 trillion rials ($320 million) with six agent banks in the first four months of the current fiscal year (ended July 21) for the lenders to allocate as low-interest loans to various sectors with a special focus on agriculture.
According to a report published on the official website of the National Development Fund of Iran, the fund gave 500 billion rials ($11.41 million) to Post Bank to be allocated as loans to knowledge-based firms, 2 trillion rials ($45.66 million) to Tose’e Taavon for industrial, mining, water, agriculture and complementary industries and 800 billion rials ($18.26 million) to Refah Kargaran for industrial and mining projects.
Bank Keshavari, the agent bank of the agriculture sector, received the highest volume of NDFI deposits at 6.5 trillion rials ($148.40 million) to allocate as facilities to related ventures.
Tourism Bank, Bank Saderat and Bank Tejarat respectively received 1 trillion rials ($22.83 million), 1.2 trillion rials ($27.40 million) and 2 trillion rials ($45.66 million) with the aim of loan allocation in the industrial and mining sector, Financial Tribune reported.
Interest rates for such loans have been announced at 16% by the fund while agricultural and tourism sectors will receive facilities with an interest rate of 14%. For less developed regions and knowledge-based projects, banks are allowed to hand out loans at a 4% rate lower than those for other sectors.
“The recipient banks are obligated to allocate 50% of the deposited funds to designated sectors in nine months,” the fund declared, adding that otherwise the unallocated funds will be returned so that the fund may reuse them.
“Banks are also obligated to pay the fund 18% in deposit interests until the time the deposited amounts remain unallocated,” according to NDFI rules.
The sovereign wealth fund also announced that it deposited a total of 112 trillion rials ($2.55 billion) with 22 banks during the whole of the previous fiscal year that ended on March 20, 2018.
Once again, Bank Keshavarzi received the highest volume of deposits at 28.8 trillion rials ($657.53 million) to fund the agriculture sector. It was followed by the private Middle East Bank that received 12.6 trillion rials ($287.67 million) and the Bank of Industry and Mine that received 12.45 trillion rials ($284.24 million).