Posted on 28 August 2013.
By Omar al-Shaher for Al-Monitor. Any opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.
According to an Iraqi financial expert, the value of Iraq’s federal reserves currently amounts to about $80 billion, following the recent increase in the country’s oil exports. Nevertheless, no information was made available by the Central Bank of Iraq (CBI) to this effect.
Speaking to Al-Monitor, Iraqi financial expert Hussein al-Asadi said, “According to my information, the value of Iraq’s federal reserves currently amounts to about $80 billion. This includes funds, precious metals and other items.”
Nevertheless, the spokesman for the CBI, which is charged with managing the federal reserves of Iraq, has yet to issue a statement in this regard. Meanwhile, Al-Monitor’s correspondent in Baghdad failed to obtain comment from the bank’s governor, Abdul Basit Turki, to this effect, or determine the identity of those authorized to speak to the media. The bank has only issued statements to comment on the developments of its work.
The last comment made by the CBI regarding the country’s federal reserves dates back to Jan. 31, 2012, when the bank denied the “decline of gold reserves.” The CBI stated, “They have been stable throughout the past months and amount to 29,730 tons.”
Asadi added, “The US dollar is the main currency in the Iraqi reserves. There are also some reserves in other currencies, in addition to gold. … Due to the troubled military and political conditions of the country, Iraq’s reserves cannot be invested to a large extent, as is the case in China or the United Arab Emirates, for instance.”
“Iraq is distributing its reserves to a number of banks just to protect [these funds], although it does generate some interest on the deposits,” Asadi added.