EghtesadOnline: An update on licensed currency exchange shops shows their number has increased from 419 in the 2017-18 fiscal to 692 in the current year that started on March 21.
According to IBENA, there are 346 exchange shops in Tehran alone, most of them in Ferdowsi Avenue. Twenty-four moneychangers are affiliated to state-owned banks.
The private and bank-affiliated exchange offices differ in terms of both scope and size of financial activities. As per law, there are two types of exchange offices in Iran.
The first consists of shops allowed to engage only in buying and selling foreign currency in cash in addition to trading in gold and silver coins, according to Financial Tribune.
The second includes exchange shops that, in addition to having the capabilities of the first category, are similar to banks – allowed to issue forex payment orders and linked to SWIFT, the internationally-recognized network that facilitates 24-hour secure exchange of payment instructions between banks, central banks, multinational corporations and major securities firms.
They are also allowed to offer offshore forex services through licensed brokers outside the country and conduct business through banks and credit institutions that have a license from the Central Bank of Iran.
With the launch of the regulated foreign exchange market in the near future, the number of exchange offices is expected to rise further.
As announced by relevant officials, only those exchange offices that have CBI permits can function, meaning that the number of applicants for new exchange offices will increase considerably.
The regulated currency market is being launched with the participation of banks and certified exchange shops under CBI supervision and will initially focus on cash transactions.