Iran external debt down over 12% to $10.03bn

Although the figures show a downward move, experts believe it’s a not a good new per se as it could mean how small a country’s economy is or its inability to borrow from international lenders.

13 February 2019
ID : 11828
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Iran’s foreign debt has reduced over 12% during the last nine months of the current fiscal  to stand at $10.03 billion, according to the latest data by the Central Bank of Iran (CBI), Financial Tribune reports.  

The Central Bank of Iran website reported that total external debt by the end of the first month of the current fiscal (April 20) was $11.3 billion, meaning that Iran's debt registered over 12% reduction since then.  

The latest figures published on Tuesday show that long and medium-term debt accounted for over two-third of the foreign debt at $6.8 billion by the end of third quarter. Short-term debt amounted to $3.1 billion during the period or 31% of the total foreign debt, the paper reports.  

“The ratio of Iran’s external debt to GDP is projected at 2.5 for 2019-20 by the World Bank, which is comparatively lower than many countries,” Financial Tribune writes.

In its latest forecast about Iran’s economy, the World Bank said the country’s foreign debt would drop to $9.3 billion by the end of current fiscal in March 2019. However, the global lender predicted that the Iran’s foreign debt would rise in the next fiscal to $10.1 billion. The WB’s forecast for Iranian foreign debt for previous fiscal was $10.1 billion.

The report cites analysts as saying that “reduced volume of foreign debt is not benign for economic prosperity because the amount of foreign debt also reflects the strength of a nation’s economic ties with foreign lenders and international monetary institutions. Likewise, low external debt may also represent a country’s inability to borrow from the international market.”.

The private Iranian business newspaper in English writes that Iran failed to attract $30 billion in foreign investment as many banks and key industrial players walked away fearing US penalties. US President Donald Trump’s Administration abandoned 2015 international nuclear agreement with Iran, also known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

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