EghtesadOnline: Approximately $27.5 billion was repatriated by non-oil exporters to the secondary currency market known locally as Nima (Integrated Forex Deals System) since the fifth month of last calendar year (July 23-August 22, 2018) up until now, the central bank governor said Tuesday.
Abdolnasser Hemmati said of the said amount, $3 billion was brought back in the form of machinery, goods and raw materials as per CBI rules that allow exporting companies to use a portion of their overseas earnings to import their own needs or of third parties in the country, the website of the Central Bank of Iran reported.
Nima is a CBI-affiliated platform where exporters sell their overseas currency earnings and importers purchase the currencies for importing non-essential goods, machinery, equipment and raw materials. The system logs data bout repatriated and currency traded for import and export.
The market was launched in April 2018 as part of CBI policy to boost transparency in allocating foreign currency for import and export, according to Financial Tribune.
Hemmati said exporters repatriated their earnings in 74,000 transactions, reflecting the expanding role of the Nima market since its inception a year ago.
According to the senior banker, the secondary market registered an estimated $46 billion in forex deals between importers and exporters over the one-year period.
The money helped meet import needs to the tune of $22 billion, he said. It was brought back to the country as per currency repatriation rules mandated by the CBI. Rules include selling currency via Nima, cash transfers through hawalah and selling to the bureaux exchanges.
Based on rules announced by the CBI in mid-May, exporters of non-petrochemical goods are obliged to sell at least 50% of their earnings on Nima and 20% in cash to money changers. The balance can be used for importing goods either by the exporting firm or any other third party.
Petrochemical companies must bring back a minimum of 60% of their forex earnings and sell it via Nima.