Iran rial hits all-time dollar low

Updated 03 February 2013
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Iran rial hits all-time dollar low

TEHRAN: Iran's currency plummeted to an all-time low yesterday, registering a more than 21-percent drop in a span of two weeks against the US dollar, currency tracking websites and money changers said.
The rial was traded at between 39,000 and 40,000 per dollar on the open market yesterday, down from about 33,000 two weeks ago, according to money changers contacted by AFP.
It had briefly dropped in late January to 37,000 per dollar amid rumors that central bank head Mahmoud Bahmani could be sacked because of his failure to shore up the rial.
The devaluation comes with Iran facing a growing shortage of foreign cash because of international sanctions against its central bank and vital oil sector over its disputed nuclear program.
Uncertainty over stalled negotiations with the UN's atomic watchdog agency and world powers over the nuclear standoff has added to controversy over the rial, according to local media.
The currency was traded at 12,000 in late 2011, prior to the introduction of tough Western sanctions on Iran's oil and banking sectors.
The official dollar rate in Iran has been fixed for several months at 12,260 rials, but is reserved for official government business. Parallel to the open market, another rate of 24,550 rials is reserved for a few companies importing food or other goods judged essential.
The government, meanwhile, has promised to take measures to support the rial but so far there has been no sign of the pressure on Iran's currency easing.


Financial crime leads to billions of lost business in Middle East, survey finds

Updated 24 May 2018
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Financial crime leads to billions of lost business in Middle East, survey finds

  • Some 45 percent of MENA respondents in Thomson Reuters victims of fraud, corruption and bribery
  • 77 percent of MENA respondents deliberately avoided customers, suppliers, countries or industries viewed as most exposed to financial crime.

LONDON: Middle Eastern companies are losing billions of dollars in business opportunities because of fears about financial crime, according to a Thomson Reuters survey published on Thursday.

Concern about the possibility of severe financial and reputational damage due to regulatory breaches leads foreign investors and firms to shun companies and entire regions where they see “heightened risk.”

In the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), 77 percent of survey respondents said that they deliberately avoided customers, suppliers, countries or industries which they viewed as most exposed to financial crime.

“The impact in terms of lost opportunities at both organizational and national level is difficult to quantify, but likely to impact productivity and economic development,” Thomson Reuters said.

The report was conducted online by an independent third party in March 2018. More than 2,000 senior managers at large global organizations completed the survey, from 19 countries.

In a hard-hitting conclusion, the report said: “For the first time our research has put a price on financial crime: three and a half percent of corporate turnover for the 2,373 large companies in our survey alone. That adds up to a staggering $1.45 trillion.”

Financial crime was said to blight individual lives and undermine the ability of governments to provide key services such as education and health. The IMF has shown that it reduces economic growth and social cohesion.

Che Sidanius, global head of financial crime regulation at Thomson Reuters, said that financial crime caused “incalculable” harm around the world. The proceeds of activities spanning bribery, corruption, fraud, and narcotics trafficking have been implicated in the financing of terrorism, human rights abuses such as slavery and child labor, and environmental crime.

“This has serious economic and social costs in terms of the lost revenues to national exchequers that could be invested in social development, and in terms of the impact on individual lives,” Sidanius said.

Other key findings were that 45 percent of MENA respondents had been a victim of financial crime as opposed to 47 percent globally; 96 percent believed that bribery and corruption was an important issue to tackle; 57 percent indicated that the consequences of bribery and corruption meant less government revenue; only 59 percent said that they fully conducted due diligence; and only 60 percent fully conducted due diligence, the report said.