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Over $700 Million Injected into Iran's NIMA Forex Market

Iran-Tehran - Central Bank of Iran building - CBI headquarter
Iran-Tehran - Central Bank of Iran building - CBI headquarter

The Central Bank of Iran, CBI, says about $711 million in foreign currency remittances have been paid into the NIMA system between November 5-12.

The NIMA exchange is a centralized electronic system established by the CBI in 2018 to streamline foreign exchange purchases and sales among Iranian companies.

Since NIMA is a market where Iranian exporters can sell their foreign currency earnings for Iranian rials, the NIMA exchange rate places a higher value on the rial than the open market rate.

The report, published on the CBI’s website on Thursday, says that the average balanced rate of dollar transactions was about 145,500 rials.

About three weeks ago, the dollar rate in Iran's unofficial markets peaked at 320,000 rials, but with the ups and downs at the beginning of this week, it fell to 250,000 rials. Since then, it has risen again slightly and now stands at 270,200 rials.

However, in the past three weeks, the CBI has not reported the volume of dollars injected into the local Forex market. In late July, when the dollar's rate set a record at 250,000 rials, the CBI injected nearly $1 billion into the market and the NIMA system, and the dollar fell below 220,000 rials but soon resumed soaring.

If injecting such an amount into the markets continues, the CBI must inject 36 to 40 billion dollars of foreign currencies into the market annually to maintain the rial's value.

The International Monetary Fund, IMF, recently reported that 90 percent of Iran's foreign exchange reserves were frozen abroad and that Iran only had access to less than nine billion dollars of it.

The CBI says that from March 20 to September 21, the NIMA system has been supplied with over six billion Euros (approximately $7.91 billion). Thus, the injection of $711 million in just the one week ending November 12 is incredibly significant.