There were conflicting accounts of the reasons for the rise in the value of the US dollar against the Iraqi dinar earlier this month. Politicians and economists have said that Iranian companies boosted the value of the dollar against the dinar by entering the Central Bank of Iraq’s (CBI) auction for hard-currency sales and buying large quantities in order to smuggle them into Iran. On the other hand, a former senior official at the CBI said the rise is linked to increased government revenue from oil sales, leading to an increase in government spending.
The weekly bulletin released by the CBI says 1,260 Iraqi dinars are now trading to the dollar, a level not been reached since last year.
A member of the Iraqi parliamentary finance committee said the value of the dollar increased against the dinar because some Iraqi banks have stopped converting dinars to dollars and have sold dollars to exchange companies at prices favorable to the banks.
Hussein al-Yasiri said some banks have stopped selling dollars to regular customers and instead have been selling them to exchange companies. This has prompted Iraqis to buy dollars from the exchange companies at prices favorable to the companies. The exchanges are not subject to government monitoring.
Ahmed al-Alwani, head of the Iraqi parliament’s economic committee, said Iran’s need for hard currency as a result of international sanctions has prompted Iran to mobilize Iraqi partners to help the country get dollars through the CBI auction.