The Accounts that Didn't Bark: Iraq's Hidden State Balances

By Ahmed Tabaqchali, CIO of Asia Frontier Capital (AFC) Iraq Fund, for the London School of Economics (LSE) Middle East Centre.

Any opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

The Accounts that Didn't Bark: Iraq's Hidden State Balances

Iraq's new prime minister, soon after being elected, wrote in an article to Iraqis that 'when I assumed my duties, I found nothing but an almost empty treasury and an unenviable situation after 17 years of change.'

The PM was referring to the accounts he would have been introduced to upon taking office - the Ministry of Finance's (MoF) accounts with the Central Bank of Iraq (CBI), which at the end of May had net balances of 2.4 trillion (trn) Iraqi Dinars (IQD), made up of deposits of IQD 4.2 trn and debt of IQD 1.8 trn (see Figure 1).

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