EghtesadOnline: The foreign exchange rate in Integrated Forex Deals System (Persian acronym for Nima) has been hiked in recent months to come closer to the rates quoted on the Sana website that reports the average exchange rates from the exchange bureaus, according to a report by the Department of Economic Reviews of Tehran Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture.
The report reviews foreign exchange trade conducted since the beginning of the current fiscal year (March 21) up until July 2 and indicates that the difference between the two rates declined from the previous 62% in the first month of Iranian year to April 20 to 36% in the month to June 21. The difference has been further reduced to 16% by July 2.
Nima is a platform where exporters sell their currency earnings to companies importing non-essential goods.
Both Nima and Sana systems keep track of forex deals in the country. While the former logs the data about repatriated export earnings sold to importers as hawala, the latter keeps the record of forex deals conducted in banks and the Central Bank of Iran-affiliated exchange bureaus, according to Financial Tribune.
The report shows that the difference between Nima and Sana rates was reduced from 58,279 rials in the first month of the year to 39,946 rials by the end of Q1 on June 21, and 20,247 rials by July 2.
Each euro banknote was traded for 153,100 rials on average during the first month of the current year, which was reduced to 148,472 rials by July 2.
This is while each hawala euro was traded for 94,821 rials on average during the first month of the year, which rose to 128,225 rials by July 2.
The narrowed gap between the forex rate in Nima and in the open market is seen as a step toward forex rate unification.
The move is also hailed by non-oil exporters, as it would encourage them to repatriate more of their export earnings to the economic cycle of the country.
Since the launch of Nima last year, exporters have always protested the legal compulsion to sell their forex earnings below the open market rates. CBI obliges them to sell part of their currency on Nima where rates are much lower than in the open market.
With the forex rate in Nima getting closer to the open market rate, exporters have shown more interest in repatriating their earnings.
A CBI official announced on Sunday that exporters of non-oil products have repatriated €5 billion of their export earnings since the beginning of the current fiscal year.
CBI Governor Abdolnasser Hemmati confirmed earlier that forex rates at Nima have been getting closer to the open market, stressing that this is the main reason behind the surge in currency repatriation via Nima.
TCCIM’s Report on Nima
Drawing on the Nima system data, TCCIM’s report indicates that during the period under review, close to €5 billion have been purchased by traders for importing goods and €5.2 billion were sold in the system by non-oil exporters as part of their forex repatriation commitment.
The highest value of trade was conducted in the second month of spring (April 21-May 21) when €2.02 billion and €2.15 billion were respectively purchased by and sold to traders in the system.
The value of forex bought in the Nima system registered a 27% decline in the last month of Q1 compared with the month before. The value of currency sold in the system decreased by 42%.