Tag Archive | "Central Bank of Iraq (CBI)"

CBI Currency Auction Results, 24th July


By John Lee.

The Central Bank of Iraq (CBI) has reported that 9 banks took part in the first of its two currency auction on Thursday.

A total of $110,683,000 was sold at a price of 1166 Iraqi Dinars (IQD) per dollar.

In its second auction, 15 banks took part, buying a total of $185,890,000 at a price of 1166 Iraqi Dinars (IQD) per dollar.

(Source: Central Bank of Iraq)

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CBI Currency Auction Results, 23rd July


By John Lee.

The Central Bank of Iraq (CBI) has reported that 17 banks took part in its currency auction on Wednesday.

A total of $237,207,000 was sold at a price of 1166 Iraqi Dinars (IQD) per dollar.

(Source: Central Bank of Iraq)

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CBI Currency Auction Results, 21st July


By John Lee.

The Central Bank of Iraq (CBI) has reported that 8 banks took part in its currency auction on Monday.

A total of $101,354,000 was sold at a price of 1166 Iraqi Dinars (IQD) per dollar.

(Source: Central Bank of Iraq)

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New Dinars Have Improved Anti-Forgery Features


By John Lee.

Iraq is introducing new Iraqi Dinar notes with improved security features, such as guarantee ribbons and the internationally used SPARK feature.

The Central Bank of Iraq treasury director Ihsan Shamran al-Yasseri announced the move, noting that this was a positive step forward that would help strengthen the currency.

The new notes, to be used alongside the old until they are phased out, will include 250, 500 and 1,000 Iraqi dinar denominations as well as larger denominations of 5000, 10,000 and 25,000 dinars. Al-Yasseri said of the move:

“The new currency, of which the small value ones have been offered for circulation, is not much different in form from the notes currently being used by the public. But these are infused with safer and more effective technical specifications containing security symbols and many technical characteristics that will give the notes longer life and make it difficult or almost impossible to counterfeit. Many of the present currency notes have become overused and it was necessary to renew them with the addition of features that would make the notes more able to effectively resist the constant circulation as well as attempts at forgery.”

(Source: Mawtani)

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Budget Delay Hits KRG Banks


By John Lee.

The delay in adopting Iraq’s federal budget, in large part due to the dispute between Baghdad and the Kurdish Regional Government over oil exports and revenues, has reduced banking activity in the KRG by up to 25%, according to Adham Karim Darwesh.

Darwesh, the manager of the Erbil branch of the Central Bank of Iraq, was speaking to the Zawya news agency and explained the impact of the recent dispute:

“The delay in adopting the federal budget this year caused a 25% reduction in banking activities, as there was a three-month lag during which the market did not receive large sums of money, including wages of public servants in the governorate, which affected market transactions.”

Darwesh also pointed out how at least two banks, Rasheed Bank and Rafidain Bank had delayed opening branches in the region because of the recent delay in the $150 billion federal budget.

Standardization

Speaking of forthcoming plans for the banking sector, Darwesh said that their was a plan to unify banking standards across the whole of Iraq, to combat money laundering and corruption.

Several banks were not meeting Islamic finance standards and 5 banks have been threatened with closure over failing to build up capital reserves:

“There are many problems facing the banking sector, including the lack of new technologies in banking transactions and services, as well as the lack of qualified personnel who are up-to-date with the changing industry innovations and technologies.”

(Source: Zawya)

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Central Bank of Iraq Buys 36 Tonnes of Gold


By John Lee.

The Central Bank of Iraq has purchased 36 tonnes of gold valued at $1.6bn to help stabilise the Dinar against foreign currencies, Bloomberg reports.

Iraq is now the 43rd largest holder of gold reserves globally, having already held 29.8 tonnes as of August last year, but the latest purchase is one of the biggest by a central bank in recent years.

Turning a portion of oil revenues into gold reserves is one strategy recommended by the IMF for developing resource rich countries.

(Source: Bloomberg)

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Economists Divided Over Deletion Of Zeros


By Amina al-Dahabi for Al-Monitor. Any opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

The Central Bank of Iraq (CBI) has been attempting to delete three zeros from the Iraqi currency since 2003. This project has raised many concerns among the Iraqi public and within the business community, and Iraqi economists are divided. While some support the project and consider it a chance to decrease inflation and unemployment, others warn of economic shocks that may prevail over the Iraqi market as a result of the project’s implementation.

Following amendments made by the CBI, implementation of the project has been postponed several times. This is because of fears that are mostly related to the lack of security, the presence of a market open to foreign commodities without any restrictions, the prevalence of counterfeit money in the market and rampant corruption in the country.

The independent Iraqi News Agency (INA) quoted Abdul Hussein al-Yasiri, a member of the Iraqi parliamentary Finance Committee, as saying that 2014 will witness the deletion of zeros from the Iraqi currency. He noted that the deletion will occur in coordination with the CBI, and that as a result of the project, the number of banknotes in circulation will be reduced from 4 billion to 1 billion.

Haider al-Abadi, the head of the Iraqi parliamentary Finance Committee, told Al-Monitor that while deleting zeros from the current currency is possible, this has been postponed until after parliamentary elections. He noted that studies are being carried out to ensure that, following the currency change, counterfeiting is limited and that Iraqis don’t go back to trading in the old currency.

The step to delete zeros from the currency has been postponed several times, leading the parliamentary Economic Committee to demand that the CBI accelerate this project, as Al-Sharqiya reported. In a news conference held July 6, the Economic Committee confirmed that the deletion of zeros will lead to an increase in the value of the Iraqi dinar and will have positive repercussions, including a reduction in unemployment and poverty rates in the country.

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Zaha Hadid Ponders Return to Baghdad


By John Lee.

The Iraqi-born architect Zaha Hadid has said that her work on a new Central Bank of Iraq headquarters is progressing. She was asked to build the new bank after a 2010 suicide attack on the existing building.

But will she return to Iraq for the first time since 1980?

She told Bloomberg:

“I would like to go … It’s very difficult emotionally for me, because I have no family there anymore. The last time I was there, my parents were alive; they were there.

“Also, I cannot go for just three days … The few people left I might know, I would like to see — my aunt and uncles are in the north.

(Source: Bloomberg)

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