|Iran launches forex centre to support rial||
DUBAI (Reuters) - Iran launched a fresh bid on Monday to stabilize its currency, opening a foreign exchange centre that provides government-subsidized U.S. dollars to import some goods.
The new foreign exchange centre allows importers of goods including truck tires, construction equipment and synthetic fibers to buy dollars at a rate 2 percent cheaper than the street rate at any given time.
The government plans to use revenues from petrochemical sales and 14.5 percent of its oil revenues to provide dollars for the centre, central bank governor Mahmoud Bahmani said. He did not give an absolute figure for the amount of dollars to be supplied.
"With the distribution of currency in this centre, the exchange rate in the market will go down, because some of the demand (for dollars) will be met in this centre and the pressure of demand will be removed," Bahmani was quoted as saying.
The dollar sold for 24,040 rials at the centre on Monday, the Iranian Students' News Agency said, compared to about 24,600 on the open market at around the same time, according to currency-tracking website Mesghal.
The government maintains an official "reference" rate of 12,260 rials to the dollar, but only a limited amount of foreign exchange is available at this rate.
The foreign exchange centre appears to have replaced a previous plan to establish a currency trading market.
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