EghtesadOnline: The Majlis Joint Commission has made an amendment to the 2021-22 fiscal budget bill based on which state banks can increase capital by up to 100 trillion rials ($400 million) by selling nonfinancial assets.
According to the commission spokesperson, Rahim Zare'e, the decision is in line with efforts to help banks improve their financial structure, the parliamentary news website ICANA reported.
Guidelines are as per provisions of the law to Remove Barriers to Competitive Production and Improve the Financial System of the Country.
Government-controlled lenders include three commercial banks and five specialized lenders. Bank Melli Iran, Bank Sepah and Post Bank of Iran are the three commercial banks.
Bank Maskan (for housing loans), Export Development Bank of Iran, the Bank of Mine and Industry, Cooperatives Development Bank and Bank Keshavarzi (agro bank) are the five specialized banks.
Lenders have not been successful in selling their non-banking assets in recent years for a variety of reasons, despite clear legal frameworks that oblige them to do so.
The law to Remove Barriers to Competitive Production and Improve the Financial System of the Country came into effect in June 2105. Accordingly, banks and credit institutions are obliged to annually divest at least 33% of their non-financial assets over three years. The obligation also covers divestment of shares in listed companies and banks can use the earnings to boost capital.
If they fail to abide by divestment rules, they have to pay 28% of their income from non-bank activities as tax during the first year of the implementation of the law. In subsequent years, 3 percentage points will be added to this rate until it reaches a maximum of 55%.
Estimations suggest that banks and credit institutions own 1,000 trillion rials ($4 billion) in nonfinancial assets.