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TEHRAN: The open forex market in Tehran was still largely paralysed yesterday, four days after Iran’s national currency dropped more than 40 percent prompting protests in the capital’s symbolic Grand Bazaar.
Most official exchange shops were open in downtown but refused to conduct any business at a rate of about 28,000 rials per dollar, set by the Central Bank on Saturday in a bid to curb the currency’s plunge. The main specialised websites tracking transactions on the market did not post any rates.
The few transactions happening under the table, however, were in the range of 30,000 and 32,000 rials per dollar, witnesses said.
The dollar rate being imposed on Saturday sought to strengthen the rial by 25 percent after it plunged 40 percent in value this week to around 36,000 in trade on Wednesday. But money changers froze all transactions, arguing they would lose money.
The official bank rate of the greenback at 12,260 rials is only available to the government and few businesses in areas considered essentials for the country.