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Iran offers 5 bln USD in loans for businesses hit by COVID-19 pandemic

TEHRAN, March 26 (Xinhua) — The Central Bank of Iran (CBI) has approved loans worth 5 billion U.S. dollars to be provided to the businesses hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Press TV reported Thursday.

The loans will be offered at an interest rate of 12 percent with a repayment period of two years, CBI Governor Abdolnasser Hemmati was quoted as saying.

Earlier in the day, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said that loans will be available to the businesses and manufacturing companies soon to help them cope with the impact of the novel coronavirus.

Iran’s first Vice President Eshaq Jahangiri, who chairs the special economic committee on coronavirus, also said that the loans could reach 6.25 billion U.S. dollars in future.

Iran, which reported the first COVID-19 cases on Feb. 19, is one of the hardest-hit countries by the novel coronavirus epidemic.

On Thursday, Iran’s total number of the infections surged to 29,406, of whom 2,234 people have died.

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