TEHRAN: Iranian interbank transactions during the fiscal year to March 20, 2017, stood at 30.9 quadrillion rials ($814.6 billion), marking a growth of 9.2 quadrillion rials ($243.2 billion) or 42.6% compared to the previous year. According to the latest data released on the Central Bank of Iran’s official website, the number of interbank deals during the period reached 31,403, registering an increase of 36.7% year-on-year. This is while average interbank rates during the 12-month period experienced a 23.9% decline YOY to reach 18.62%, which is the lowest average annual rate in the interbank market in the past four years.
Following its active intervention in the interbank market, CBI aims to restore calm to the market and tackle the expanding credit crunch. As a result, the interbank funding rate gradually declined from a record high of 29% at the beginning of March 2015 to 17% this March. This trend, however, was short-lived as price wars over interest rates to attract more deposits–a tussle instigated by uncertified credit institutions–drove up the rates again. During the year to March 20, state-run banks allocated 16.2 quadrillion rials ($426.3 billion) at an average interest rate of 18.05% to the interbank market that accounts for 52% of all the deposits. Private lenders, on the other hand, offered loans worth 14.6 quadrillion rials ($384.2 billion) at an average rate of 19.58%. However, private banks and credit institutions received 76% of the interbank loans that stood roughly at 23.6 quadrillion rials ($621 billion). State-owned banks also took 7.3 quadrillion rials ($192.1 billion) in interbank loan accounts for 24% of the total sum.