Covering Iranian economy,
business and current affairs.


VBMBlog provides regular coverage of news, analyses, reports, etc. on Iran´s economy, business, sanctions and current affairs. Check out our blog and participate in our discussions.

What Direction Will the Iranian Rial Go in 1397 (2018)?

Jan 15, 2018 Fixing the FOREX rate in the budget and its outlook in the year to come has been one of the most controversial questions on the economic front. The government seems to have a long way to go before it can integrate and realize a single foreign exchange rate, economic players are still waiting for it, though. Read more

Implementation of Iran Petroleum Contract (IPC) and the Lost Appeal

Sept. 25, 2016 After many ups and downs, the general conditions governing Iran Petroleum Contract (IPC) have been finalized, and in the wake of the communication by the parliament speaker to government of the approved model of such contracts, IPC has officially landed on course to implementation. The latest communiqué by the Cabinet features the revisions underlined by senior establishment officials. Read more

Three Iranian Banks to Open Branches in Germany

Sept. 25, 2016 Germans, from the very beginning after the JCPOA went into effect, vigorously started visiting Iran. Now, these visits have made Germany the fifth trade partner of Iran. Germany is an old partner of Iran and was once the top trade partner of the country before sanctions were imposed on Iran. Being pioneer among its European neighbors in trades with Iran, Germany now seeks to seat on the first place in terms of banking transactions with Iran as well. To this end, Germany’s experts from its Central Bank took the lead to help Iran upgrade its banking system which has undergone tough days for at least six years. After that, Germany invited Iran’s governor of Central Bank to shape the transactions between the two countries more concrete. Read more

Critical Condition of Iranian Banks

Jan 12, 2016 The research center of the Iranian Parliament has released a report on the banking system which is in “crisis,” warning that Iranian banks may be bankrupt soon. Out of the 7,333 credit and financial institutions currently operating in the country, only 1,000 are authorized by the Central Bank and supervised by it. The rest, known as unauthorized institutions, have been established by certain organizations which are not necessarily accountable to the Central Bank, the report noted. Read more

Term-Deposit Rate Ceiling May be Decreased to 15%

May 22, 2016 Abdol-Naser Hemmati, the ex-head of the banks coordination council, announced that bankers would meet in two weeks’ time to approve a plan to further reduce deposit rate ceiling to 15 percent from 18 percent. One of the main concerns of banks is that further decline in deposit rate ceiling may cause billion of rials in term-deposit accounts to leave commercial banks for credit and financial institutions, which have not yet authorized by the central bank and other markets such as FOREX and gold. Read more

Infiltration into the Central Bank of Iran with the Excuse of Fighting Usury

May 15, 2016 Some of the lawmakers, who have failed to win a seat in the next parliament, have raised a motion that would push monetary officials to apparently fight usury in the banking system. However, the move is actually an effort to infiltrate the Central Bank of Iran and its subsidiaries. News media have already called the motion as a sign of rising tension between the administration and parliament, making the CBI governor to write a letter to the speaker asking on the so-called free-usury banking plan to be blocked. Read more

Kerry and Zarif Met Behind Closed Doors

Apr. 24, 2016 Two years ago, it was hard to believe that foreign ministers of the United States and Iran would meet soon; however, Mohammad Javad Zarif goes to New York at the excuse of attending an international event but met his American counterpart. Read more

Why Didn’t the Dollar Depreciate after the Sanctions Relief?

Apr. 11, 2016 Some market players expected the JCPOA would lead to depreciation of the US dollar against the rial; however, during the nuclear negotiations and before the talks resulted, authorities clearly rejected the possibility of a lower rate for the dollar. Read more

3rd Iran-Europe Forum

Mar. , 2016 3rd Europe-Iran Forum Vistar joins as a proud sponsor of the leading Iran business conference Zurich | 3-4 May 2016 Read more


Mar. , 2016 The recent remarks of President Hassan Rouhani in Yazd confirmed that our analysis was reliable. It was clear that the president was awaiting the public’s vote to use official media, traditionally controlled by ultraconservatives, to criticize the conservative policies which have made citizens unhappy and to ease political and social pressure on citizens. Read more

Unifying the Foreign Currency Rates

Mar. , 2016 Iran had a unified forex rate system between 1991 and 2001 – which was a failure. The Central Bank of Iran, backed by petrodollars, had interfered in the currency market in the past years to keep the rial’s value artificially high. That policy was against interests of exporters as they lost their competitiveness in the global market. In the past couple of years, despite weak oil prices, the CBI continued to pursue that policy in the hope that its assets blocked overseas would soon be released after the implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. Read more

Will the Iranian Crisis of Unauthorized Financial Institutions Permeate to Banks?

Mar. , 2016 Dozens of financial and credit institutions are not authorized by the Central Bank of Iran, and therefore are barred from using mangy advantages provided by the regulator. For instance, the unauthorized financial institutions are not connected to the national interbank card switch (SHETAB); so, they need to use the check services available only in banks and authorized institutions to satisfy their customers. Read more

Trade Recession Continues in Iran

Feb. , 2016 Recession continued in Iran’s non-oil trade in the 11-month period to Feb. 19, latest reports released by the Customs Administration show. Although the trade balance was positive, the volume of trade was lower than the same period last year, making authorities concerned. During the review period, Iran exported $38.97 billion and imported $37.27 billion of goods. Read more

Iran's Inflation Rates for the Month of Bahman 1394 (February 2016)

Feb. , 2016 The Central Bank of Iran announced that the average inflation rate in the urban area for the 12-month period to the eleventh Iranian calendar month of Bahman (ended on Feb. 20) hit 12.6 percent. The month-over-month (M-o-M) inflation rate increased by 0.2%. Read more

Iranian Monetary Authorities Agree to Decrease Interest Rates

Feb. , 2016 As inflation has been curbed from over 40 percent to about 12 percent, the monetary authorities are moving now to help reduce the interest rates further in a move to boost the manufacturing sector. Earlier in the year the Central Bank reduced the interest rates by two percentage point, but banks and credit institutions refused to respect the decision. Read more

Iran's Min Wage in Coming Year 1395 (March 2016 - March 2017)

Feb. , 2016 Official reports show that the average expenditure of a household in urban areas exceeds 30 million rials each month. This is the fact while the minimum wage is set to be increased 10 percent in the next year’s budget law, reaching 7.83 million rials per month. The increase is even lower than inflation, which hovers around 13 percent. Read more

Iran Government Plans to Bring Big Reform

Jan 31, 2016 By the next strategic plan of the country, dubbed as the 6th Five-Year Economic Development Plan, authorities would do their best to reduce the size of the government and improve business environment, according to media reports. It seems that the incumbent administration is serious to give priority to address the economic woes in the coming years, since it has come up with ideas and plans to reduce the size of the government and budget reliance on oil revenue, cut its debt to banks and contractors, reform the bureaucratic system and push for subsidy reforms. In the meantime, the administration of President Hassan Rouhani tries to make the economy more transparent, improve the business environment, organize credit and financial institutions, pay its debt to the private sector, and pave the ground for the inflow of foreign capital. Read more

Iran’s Falling Revenue

Jan 11, 2016 With Iran’s crude oil being traded at $29, Iran’s revenue from oil sales have decreased to 31 trillion rials. The revenue is too low to cover government expenditures, given the fact that authorities should spend 34 trillion rials on cash subsidies and 100 trillion rials on the salaries of millions of employees. Read more

Iranian Government Faces Unbalanced Budget

Jan 04, 2016 Despite repeated optimistic forecasts about the economy, the Iranian government has failed to balance the budget and says it is facing a shortage of funds to pay the salaries of public employees. Read more

Iran's New Budget and Forex Rate

Dec. , 2015 Although oil prices have been plunging in the past two years and despite the fact that Iran’s oil sales have considerably been cut due to crippling economic sanctions, the Iranian currency has experienced a relatively stable situation. Yet, the foreign exchange market’s stability will be the most challenging issue the Iranian government will face in the coming year. Read more

Semi-Cold War in Syria

Oct , 2015 Parallel to Russian airstrikes against opposition groups in Syria, Bashar al Assad’s Army has made considerable progress in recent days, being able to recapture some strategic areas from militants. Read more

A U-Turn in Rouhani Administration's Economic Policy

Oct , 2015 Last Thursday night, President Hassan Rouhani attended a television program, elaborating on his administration’s performance in the past two years and revealing his new plans for the next couple of years in order to improve business environment. Read more

Iran Can Provide Europe with Gas for 90 Years

Oct 12, 2015 The Financial Times wrote an article on Iran’s energy sector saying that the country has 34 trillion cubic meters of natural gas reserves, which are enough to feed European nations for at least 90 years. Iran is holding the biggest gas reserves in the world, but it has not yet developed its energy potential. Gas production is hardly responding to local consumptions. Sanctions, which have targeted Iran’s energy sector since 2007 affecting the business of multinational companies dealing with Iran, and the country’s legal boundaries in the energy sector (called buyback contracts which are not attractive any more for foreign investors) are blamed for the backwardness of the sector. Read more

Coalition of the East

Oct , 2015 After weeks of speculations, Russians eventually stepped in the Syrian conflicts, striking the positions of opposition groups in the Arab country. Not surprisingly, severe Russian attacks inside the Syrian territories have stimulated regional and global reactions. Read more

The CBI Inflation Report

Oct , 2015 In its second monthly report, the central bank released inflation of tradable and non-tradable in Mordad after its first report of the kind in Tir, giving the signal that the bank has begun to release such reports regularly every month. Read more