Bondlady’s Corner Iraqi News Highlights Thursday Afternoon

Tlm724 Administrator Bondlady’s Corner

Al-Alaq Reveals Prospective Legal Steps To Reduce The Gap In The Exchange Rate

Economy   Thursday, March 16, 2023 11:01 am  Baghdad / National News Center  Today, Thursday, the Governor of the Central Bank of Iraq, Ali Al-Alaq, revealed prospective legal steps aimed at reducing the gap in the exchange rate.  Al-Alaq said in a statement during the Seventh Sulaymaniyah Forum, followed by the National News Center: “We will take the necessary legal steps within the framework of the dinar being a major currency prevailing in the market, in cooperation with the government.”

He added, “Buying and selling in a foreign currency is a strange thing and a widespread phenomenon in the Iraqi markets, which is (the dollarization of the market).”

He continued, “Externally, we do not have a problem with remittances, and every day we open new outlets to sell dollars at the official rate.”

He pointed out that “the currency is a symbol of sovereignty and a title for the country, and abandoning it is tantamount to lowering the flag.”

Central Bank Governor Warns Of “A Very Dangerous Phenomenon That Threatens Monetary Stability”

Economy| 11:04 – 03/16/2023  Baghdad – Mawazine News,  Governor of the Central Bank of Iraq, Ali Al-Alaq, considered, on Thursday, relying on the central bank to cover the general budget deficit, as “a very dangerous phenomenon that threatens monetary stability” in Iraq.

Al-Alaq said in a speech during the Sulaymaniyah Forum, “Monetary policy includes two main goals: maintaining the general level of prices, that is, the strength of the currency locally, and the exchange rate, which represents the strength of the currency externally.”

He added, “The phenomenon of relying on the central bank to cover the deficit of the state’s general budget is a very dangerous phenomenon, and the dependence of some governments on the central bank for financing threatens monetary stability.”

The Decline In Dollar Prices In Baghdad With The Closing Of The Stock Market

Economy   Thursday, March 16, 2023 4:10 PM   Baghdad / The National News Center

The exchange rates of the dollar decreased against the Iraqi dinar, today, Thursday, with the closure of the main stock exchange in Baghdad.

The correspondent of the National News Center said, “The central Kifah Stock Exchange closed in Baghdad at 156,400 Iraqi dinars, compared to 100 dollars, while the prices this morning were 156,800 dinars, compared to 100 dollars.”

He added, “The buying and selling prices in exchange shops in the local markets in Baghdad decreased, as the selling price reached 157,000 Iraqi dinars, while the purchase prices reached 156,000 dinars per 100 dollars.”

The Central Bank Announces The Provision Of Electronic Payment Points At Gas Stations

Economy| 05:28 – 03/16/2023   Baghdad – Mawazine News  The Central Bank of Iraq announced today, Thursday, the provision of electronic payment points at gas stations.

The bank said in a statement, a copy of which Mawazine News received, that “the Central Bank of Iraq revealed the names of the fuel filling stations on both sides of Karkh and Rusafa in Baghdad, which will provide electronic payment points (pos) early next month, in cooperation with the Oil Products Distribution Company.”

The statement added, “A number of fuel filling stations have been identified in the capital, Baghdad, as a first stage in which electronic payment points (pos) are available through bank cards (credit, debit, and prepaid), based on the government’s directives to popularize electronic payment points and reduce the use of cash.”

He pointed out, ”  He continued, “The stations that have been identified in cooperation with the Oil Products Distribution Company affiliated with the Ministry of Oil are:

1- Karkh stations

, the Yarmouk filling station near the railway / Al-Dawudi

, the First Police filling station / Al-Jamaa neighborhood / behind the Mulla Huweish mosque

– a filling station Umm al-Tabul / Al-Dakhiliyah neighborhood / behind the Umm al-Tabul mosque

– Filling station, Al

-Risala / Al- Mansour near the statue of Abi

Jaafar Al

– Mansour Musa bin Naseer / Karrada, Salman Faeq Street, near Al-Shorouk Building

– Al-Khalisa / Al-Waziriyah filling station

– Al-Bataween filling station / Al-Tayaran Square opposite Baghdad market. Ended 29 / m 99

Iraq Raises Its Balance Of Holding US Bonds To 41 Billion Dollars

Iraq  Thursday, March 16, 2023 Follow-up / The National News Center  The US Treasury announced today, Thursday, that Iraq’s possession of US bonds has risen to more than 41 billion dollars.

And the treasury stated in its latest schedule, affiliated with the National News Center, that “Iraq’s possession of US Treasury bonds for the month of January of 2023 increased by 303 million dollars to reach 41.117 billion dollars, after it was 40.814 billion dollars during the previous month,” indicating that “These bonds increased by 75.69% over the same month of 2021, when Iraq’s possession of bonds amounted to $23.4 billion.”

And she added, “Iraqi bonds, including long-term guarantees of $27.784 billion and short-term guarantees of $13.393 billion,” noting that “these bonds represent 0.56% of global bonds.”

Saudi Arabia comes at the forefront of the Arab countries with the most possession, amounting to 111.016 billion dollars, despite its decrease by more than 8 billion dollars from the previous month, and the UAE comes second with 64.875 billion dollars, up by 6 billion dollars from the previous month, and then Kuwait comes third with 43.282 billion Dollars, down by $5 billion from the previous month, followed by Iraq fourth and Oman fifth by $7.061 billion, then Morocco by $3.931 billion.

Central Bank Sales Record More Than 233 Million Dollars In Today’s Auction

Economy| 11:50 – 03/16/2023   Baghdad – Mawazine News   The Central Bank of Iraq’s sales of dollars in an auction today, Thursday, recorded more than 233 million dollars.

American Report: Washington Maintains Few Forces In Iraq To Maintain Relations

Posted On2023-03-16 By Sotaliraq  Translated by: Hamed Ahmed  An international report stated that 20 years after the American invasion of Iraq, and the accompanying explosions, shocks and terror, less American forces remained in the country, but steadily to ensure an ongoing relationship with a major partner in the Middle East region at the military and diplomatic level.

A report by the American Associated Press, translated by Al-Mada, stated that “the remaining forces, numbering 2,500 soldiers, are distributed around the country, most of them in military bases in Baghdad and the Kurdistan region.”

And the report continued, “While the number of forces at the height of the war during the year 2007 was more than 170,000 soldiers, American officials say that the presence of a limited level of forces, but on an ongoing basis, is a vital and important matter that shows the commitment of the forces to maintain the security of the region against No outside influence.

And he added, “But since the American invasion in 2003, which necessitated the bringing in of tens of thousands of American soldiers, and the passage of twenty years since the overthrow of the previous regime and the advent of a system of governance based on quotas between the political blocs, many Iraqis have been disappointed, after getting rid of a dictatorial regime, because governments The successive government that took over failed to restore basic services, and the continuous battles brought instead massive human suffering.

The report pointed to “resentment and power struggles between rival sectarian parties that ignited a civil war that eventually led to the complete withdrawal of US forces in December 2011.”

He stressed, “Sectarian strife was a major cause of the collapse of the country’s forces, including the army and police, with their confrontation with the terrorist organization ISIS, which in 2014 invaded large areas of Iraqi and Syrian territory.”

And the report stated, “The spread of the threats of the terrorist organization ISIS necessitated the return of American forces again to Iraq in 2014 at the invitation of the Baghdad government.”

And he continues, “During the summer and fall of that year, the coalition forces led by the American army launched a campaign of air strikes against the organization in Iraq and then in Syria, and then returned with a broader effort to train and advise the Iraqi forces.”

The report goes on to state that “the training and advising mission, with additional support from NATO forces, continued even after the end of the war against ISIS and its expulsion from its last stronghold in Syria in March 2019.”

And he stressed, “The retired American general, Frank McKenzie, who assumed the presidency of the Central Command of the US forces in the Middle East for the period from 2019 to 2022, said: (Iraq is still under the pressure of ISIS, and we are still helping the Iraqi forces in the war against ISIS, we have We have done a lot to help them develop their capabilities to preserve their sovereignty, which is very important for the Iraqis.”

The report noted, “The constant reason for the continued presence of US forces is to assist Iraq in its war against the remnants of the terrorist organization ISIS militants and to prevent the re-emergence of its threats.”

He continued, “The presence of the American forces in Iraq also provides important logistical support to the American forces present in Syria, which provide support to the Syrian Kurdish Democratic Forces in their war against ISIS there.”

The report talked about “the implementation of air strikes and other missions by US forces targeting the leaders of the organization, as well as supporting the Syrian Kurdish forces that are guarding thousands of ISIS militants and their families detained in Syria.”

He added, “In his recent visit to Baghdad and his meeting with Iraqi leaders, US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said that US forces are ready to stay in Iraq, in a non-combat role, at the invitation of the government.”

According to the report, “Austin also said: (We are deeply committed to ensuring that the Iraqi people can live in peace and dignity, in safety and security, with economic opportunities for all).”

The report emphasized, “In a statistic of war losses since 2003 until the withdrawal of combat forces in December 2011, Iraq lost tens of thousands of civilian deaths, with 4,487,000 American forces killed and 32,000 other American soldiers wounded during the battles.”

He explained, “The report of the Special Inspector General for the Iraq Reconstruction Campaign stated that for the period from 2003 to 2012 the United States spent $60.64 billion to finance the Civil Effort Fund for the Reconstruction of Iraq and to support the Iraqi security forces.” $20 billion of those allocations went to finance, arm, equip and train the Iraqi security forces.

And the report went on, that “the Congressional Defense Committee stated during the period between 2007 and 2010 that there were 100 thousand contractors annually in Iraq providing services and support to the American forces and the American mission as well. According to US Central Command, as of the end of last year there were 6,500 contractors providing support for US operations in Iraq and Syria. LINK

Fluctuation And Decline In Oil Prices And Their Impact On The Budget

Falah Al-Amiri  We have already adopted the price of oil for budget purposes. It was raised on more than one occasion, and since 2010 it is for the government to adopt a price of 40-45 dollars for budget purposes for a period of five years, to be reviewed after the end of that period. However, successive governments continued to adopt the tendency of rentier economy and use the operating budget to escape forward instead of focusing on solving the problems of the private sector and facilitating its procedures and developing it to reduce pressure on the public sector and move towards expanding the market economy, in addition to applying governance in obtaining non-oil revenues.

With regard to the 2023 budget, we expected that the price of oil for budget purposes would not exceed 60 dollars or even 65 dollars, which is a price previously adopted in some previous budgets, according to Iraq’s financial conditions. But the adoption of $70 was a surprise, especially with the new official exchange rate of 1320.

In general, it seems that there are several reasons that prompted the current government to adopt the price of 70 dollars per Maronite this year, including an unprecedented huge operational budget, as follows:

  1. The government will use the accumulated financial abundance from 2022.
  2. During the first and second months of this year, large quantities of basic foodstuffs were purchased from the funds of the Food Security Act. This may reduce costs.
  3. The average price of Iraqi oil exceeded 74 dollars a barrel during the first quarter of this year, and this helps to absorb a shock in the decline in oil prices later.
  4. The expected world oil price for the year 2023 ranges between 65-80 dollars per barrel, and some expectations may reach the price of 90 dollars, and this is exaggerated, but the expected annual rate is 70 dollars per barrel. Of course, these expectations take into account the existence of a global economic recession and the possibility of its expansion.
  5. The continuation of the Russian-Ukrainian war is a major factor in the fluctuation and instability of oil prices, up and down.
  6. Russia and Saudi Arabia will work hard to keep the oil price at least $70 per barrel as an annual average for oil prices in general, and this price is commensurate with their annual budgets and financial situation.
  7. Western governments are working seriously to avoid a financial collapse, as happened in 2008, because this time it will be more dangerous because the peoples of these countries have suffered from high prices and energy shortages, and have drained them financially.
  8. The government acted smartly when it presented a budget of this size, ramifications, and details, especially the public expenditure side, which members of Parliament had an important role in increasing through the appointments that were proposed, and tens of thousands of citizens, especially teachers, graduates, higher degrees, daily wages, and others, were confirmed.
  9. The government has thrown the ball in the parliament’s court. The members of the Parliamentary Finance Committee will conduct an extensive study of the budget. I think there will be no fundamental changes, whether in the budget items or the price of oil, as it focused on financing salaries, public service projects, health and others that concern citizens, in addition to covering sensitive matters such as projects of the Ministry of Oil and Electricity.

It has touches that achieve social justice for the distribution of income and contribute to relative social stability. And if Parliament decides to reduce the price of oil, perhaps to the price of 65 dollars a barrel, then this may require the deletion of some items of operating expenses that may be very sensitive in the tightly built budget, and that any change scores a point for the government, not Parliament.

  1. The political blocs that nominated the government have certainly seen, at the very least, some important and basic items and figures in the proposed annual budget, and there is no doubt that they will discuss the budget with their representatives in Parliament and direct them to approve the budget and pass it quickly and avoid obstruction or delay and without making fundamental changes.

Finally, I believe that adopting a price of 65 dollars per barrel is considered an acceptable settlement between Parliament and the government if Parliament decides to change the price of oil and some budget items or reduce the deficit for this year.

He suggested that the government adopt a downward price for the price of oil for budgetary purposes in the coming years.


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