0142 GMT December 06, 2019
IRNA reported that nearly $600 million of assets had already been sold as part of a large scheme to dispose of $8.3 billion of assets that include factories, hotels, residential units and other commercial, agricultural and industrial enterprises.
The report cited a statement from the Central Bank of Iran’s research institute saying that a first phase of the sell-off would cover up to 170 trillion rials ($1.4 billion) of the value of such assets.
It added that Bank Melli Iran, the largest in the country, owns around 14 percent of the property owned by the banks, more than half of them declared as residential units that are scattered across the country.
The report said the assets also include 250 bank branches that were closed down either due to mergers or downsizing of the banking services.
Officials have said that Iranian banks currently own a total of 1,246 factories as well as 277 major farming units, all of them shut down and waiting for new administrators.
Iran's Minister of Economic Affairs and Finance Farhad Dejpassand has said that the disposals of the assets are part of a larger plan to overhaul the Iranian banking system, where both state-sponsored banks and those run by the private sector are intent on restructuring their services.
In a recent briefing to reporters, Dejpassand rejected claims that the sell-offs were meant to allow the government to pay for its budget deficits, insisting that the money would return to the banking system to encourage more lending.