The government cabinet in a directive mandated on Monday the Central Bank of Iran (CBI) to control the level of foreign obligations and debts as not to exceed dlrs 30 billion during the Fourth Five-Year Development Plan (March 2005-2010), IRNA reported from Tehran.
The Plan and Management Organization (MPO) reported that the directive has "authorized" new foreign exchange accounts, which are opened at Iranian and foreign-based banks with the aim of facilitating trading and investment activities, should be approved by the CBI and be in accordance with other regulations.
One of the article of the directive stipulates that in the course of the development plan the Iranian banks are obligated to bring their technical and bureaucratic standards up to the accepted international levels.
The cabinet also authorized the economy and finance ministry to make provisions to diversify financing schemes which have beneficial effects in utilizing domestic contractors in development and infrastructural projects.
Iran's forex revenues is salted to rise to 46 to 50 billion dollars in the 2005-06 fiscal through sale of oil and purchase of foreign exchanges from customers.
The CBI expects to buy 12 to 14 billion dollars from foreign exchange customers. The national banking network bought about 10 billion dollars from customers last year.
In a sign of improved performance by the Iranian economy, the British rating agency 'Fitch' lowered last year the risk rating on Iran long-term foreign obligations, government's short-term loans and credit ceilings from B+ to BB- in a report released last week.
Central Bank of Iran (CBI) said the change in rating means that the Fitch has lowered by one notch its credit risk assessment on Iran.
Iran's credit improvement stems form lowest level of government debt and foreign denominated obligations among the countries which it surveyed, the report added.
It also singled out Iran as having one of the best standing in terms of liquidity in the list of the nations under consideration.
Fitch said the high oil revenues renders solid backing to the country's current assets and bode well for the aim of meeting the government short-term obligations, a policy which in line with instituting economic reforms, enjoys the high-ranking official's full support.
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