Iran’s new central bank chief wants to rein in inflation

AFP News Agency

09th Oct, 2021. 02:49 pm

Iran’s new central bank governor Ali Saleh-Abadi has said he intends to implement strict monetary policy to control inflation, as the country battles a severe economic crisis.

“The most important priority of the central bank is to control inflation, and with the help of the government’s economic team… we (will) try to stabilise various markets in the coming months,” the English-language Tehran Times quoted him, as saying.

Annual inflation reached 43.7 per cent in September, according to official figures.

Saleh-Abadi said that pursuing stability in the foreign currency exchange market would also be a priority, adding: “The necessary mechanisms have been devised to have balance in the market.”

The riyal was trading at around 280,000 to the dollar at the exchange offices on Friday, compared with 258,000 at the start of the year.

“We will try to control the money supply and prevent additional borrowing by banks from the central bank to stabilise the market,” he told Iranian television this week.

Appointed on Wednesday, 43-year-old Saleh-Abadi is the youngest Iranian to hold the post of central bank governor.

He holds a doctorate in financial management from the University of Tehran and managed the country’s stock exchange from 2005 to 2014, before becoming chief of the Export Development Bank of Iran.

Iran has been strangled financially by sanctions re-imposed by Washington after the then US president Donald Trump pulled out of a multilateral nuclear deal in 2018.

The country of 83 million people has since been hit by a severe economic crisis amplified by the Covid pandemic.

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