EghtesadOnline: Following hikes in forex rates in the Integrated Forex Deals System, known by its Persian acronym Nima, Iranian exporters repatriated more overseas earnings to the country.
Nima is the platform where exporters sell their currency earnings to importers of non-essential goods.
According to IRNA, exporters returned €4.56 billion of their non-oil export earnings back home since the beginning of the current fiscal on March 21 up until June 18.
Each euro on average was sold for 124,770 rials via the Nima system during the almost three months, according to Financial Tribune.
The money was brought back as per the currency repatriation rules mandated by the Central Bank of Iran. Apart from selling currency via Nima, the rules include cash transfers through hawalah, selling to the bureaux exchanges and using the currency for imports.
Currency repatriation can also be adjusted for importing goods, raw materials and machinery either by the exporting company itself or a third party.
Reports on the monthly data about currency repatriation on Nima indicate that exporters returned about €1.27 billion in non-oil export income in the first month of current fiscal year to April 20, €2.16 billion in the second month and €1.33 billion from the beginning of the current Persian month to June 18.
Increase in the repatriated currency can be explained by the gradually shrinking of forex rates in the open market and Nima rates in tandem with the relative stability in rates in the open market in recent weeks.
The difference between two rates has declined by about 30,000 rials since the beginning of the year, which is attractive enough to encourage exporters to offer a bigger portion of their earnings on Nima.
Exporters have always strongly protested the legal compulsions that coerce them to sell their forex cheaper at Nima where rates are much lower than open market rates.
The euro has been on an upward trajectory in Nima since the beginning of the year, rising from 95,000 rials on March 25 (marking the opening of trade in Nima after the annual Nowrooz holidays) to reach over 124,000 rials now.
This indicates that the difference between Nima and open market rates has declined from 60,000 rials to 30,000 rials in light of the fact that forex rates have almost remained stable since then.
The euro is currently sold for about 152,000 rials in the open market.
CBI boss Abdolnasser Hemmati confirmed on Wednesday that forex rates at Nima has been coming closer to the open market, adding that this is the main reason behind the surge in currency repatriation via Nima.
The highest forex rate registered in Nima was on June 15 with each euro worth 132,700 rials.
The lowest rate was for March 25 when a euro changed hands for 94,920 rials.
Making some tweaks on previous repatriation rules, the CBI unveiled new rules last month to help facilitate repatriation of export earnings.
The rules oblige petrochemical exporters to return at least 60% of their revenues through Nima, whereas non-petrochemical exporters are asked to offer 50% of their currency. Exporters are required to sell 20% of their income in cash to money changers. The balance can be used for importing goods either by the exporting firms or third parties.