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Iraqi News Sunday AM 1-24-21

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A Slight Increase In The Exchange Rates Of The Dollar Against The Iraqi Dinar

Time: 01/24/2021 11:22:47 Read: 5,122 times   {Baghdad: Al Furat News} The exchange rates of the dollar rose, today, Sunday, on the main stock exchange in Baghdad slightly.

Al-Kifah Central Stock Exchange in Baghdad recorded 145,650 Iraqi dinars against 100 US dollars, while Al-Harithiya Stock Exchange also recorded 145,650 dinars.

While the central Al-Kifah Stock Exchange in Baghdad recorded its opening on Saturday morning 145,550 Iraqi dinars against 100 US dollars.   LINK

Iraq Is Drowning In Its Debts … Negotiating To Borrow 6 Billion Dollars From The International Monetary Fund

Baghdad Post Sunday, January 24, 2021 3:58 PM  Finance Minister Ali Allawi said that Iraq is in talks with the International Monetary Fund to obtain a loan of 6 billion dollars to support its faltering economy.

Iraq, the second largest oil producer among OPEC countries, expects a deficit in the 2021 budget of 71 trillion dinars ($ 49 billion).

Allawi said that once parliament approves the budget and spending plan, Iraq can apply for two billion dollars in fast- track financing from a special mechanism launched by the International Monetary Fund to help economies suffering from the Covid-19 crisis.

The finance minister added that Baghdad could request an additional $ 4 billion in low-cost loans through another program linked to government reforms. While the International Monetary Fund’s loans will not cover a small portion of the deficit, they may reduce Iraq’s depletion of its foreign reserves.

The Iraqi government borrowed more than $ 25 billion from the central bank last year, to pay public sector salaries and meet other financial requirements.

Iraq also plans to rely on other financing tools to help bridge the gap, with Allawi saying that once the budget is approved, the government will also move to issue domestic bonds worth $ 5 billion. Regarding the issuance of international bonds, the Iraqi Minister of Finance said: “International loans are quite expensive. I don’t know if there is a desire to buy Iraqi bonds. Returning to these markets now is a bit difficult. ”

The average yield of Iraq’s dollar bonds is 8.3%, one of the highest levels of any government in the world, according to Bloomberg Barclays Indices. Iraq suffers from low oil prices, and the Iraqi economy has suffered

Since the collapse in global oil prices due to the Coronavirus pandemic, the country has struggled to cover its costs and prevent hardships from worsening on a large scale. In the past year, it exceeded production limits agreed with other oil exporters to raise much-needed cash, although it has outlined a compensation plan.

Allawi said that Iraq will respect the quota set for oil production within the OPEC + alliance because it helps reduce the risk of a price collapse. He praised Saudi Arabia’s sudden production cut by one million barrels this month, which helped oil prices rise.

Allawi said that Iraq’s budget deficit may shrink by 25% this year if oil prices remain around their current levels of $ 55 a barrel. The International Monetary Fund expects The Iraqi economy contracted by 12% in 2020 – the highest rate among OPEC countries, and witnessed a budget deficit of 22% of GDP.

And to reduce Iraq the value of its currency last year as much as ever to reduce the pressure on public finances at a time when securing foreign aid worth billions of dollars trying. And Iraq has turned to the so-called “pre-paid deals”, in which it obtains the value of future oil sales, seeking from the government to expedite obtaining revenues to meet current needs.   LINK

“Iraq Is On The Verge Of Bankruptcy” … The Question Is Where Did The Revenues Of $ 42 Billion And One Billion Barrels Of Oil Go In 2020 ?!

The Baghdad Post Sunday, January 24, 2021 02:27 AM  Experts: Despite the drop in oil prices, oil revenues were huge, and no one knows where this whole sum went ??

Despite the drop in oil prices throughout the year 2020, Iraqi oil exports achieved revenues of about $ 42 billion, a huge number that cannot be underestimated in the year of the crisis.

The question is where have all these billions gone? Because even assuming it was allocated for wages only, it was huge and the situation could not reach the point of bankruptcy as is the case in Iraq. The Ministry of Oil announced that the country’s oil exports during the past year amounted to more than one billion barrels. The Oil Marketing Company / SOMO / said in an official statistic, that “the total oil exports for the year 2020 amounted to one billion 96 million and 345 thousand barrels, with a monthly export rate of 91 million and 362 thousand barrels, and a daily average of two million and 362 thousand barrels.”

She added that “Chinese and Indian oil companies were the most buyers of Iraqi oil, followed by American companies,” noting that “the revenues generated from crude oil sales amounted to 41 billion and 755 million dollars, at a rate of 3 billion and 479 million dollars per month.” The company stated, “The average monthly selling price of crude oil amounted to 38 dollars and 86 cents a barrel.”

On the other hand, a report by the Institute of International Finance revealed that last year, Iraq went through the worst rate of contraction since 2003, reaching 11.2 percent, as the country dealt with two double shocks represented by the drop in oil prices and the spread of the Corona virus, but despite this, the output is expected to grow Oil GDP is 1.6% this year, and non-oil GDP is 3.1%.

The British newspaper, The National, quoted the Institute’s chief economist, Garbis Iradian, as saying that the factors of low prices and the spread of the epidemic, along with the continuing political instability in the country, have led to the inflation of the budget deficit to 15.6 percent of GDP in 2020, and a sharp decrease in its official reserves. “.

He added that, however, there is a slight recovery in oil prices, and the recent devaluation of the Iraqi dinar may put the country’s finances on a more sustainable basis.

According to the Institute of Finance report, “There is an expectation that the deficit will shrink from 16 percent of GDP in 2020 to 8 percent in 2021 if the average oil price is 47 dollars a barrel and less than 1 percent if the average oil price is 57 dollars a barrel in a year. 2021 ″.

He explained that one of the indications of an improvement in the economy is an increase in the proportion of spending to 10 percent in 2021, driven by the recovery of capital spending, which decreased by half in 2020, noting that “more public investment is needed to reform the infrastructure destroyed by the war and enhance the provision of savings. Basic public services, including the electricity sector.

The report revealed that current spending needs to be reoriented towards targeted sectors such as health, and to a lesser extent on wages and pensions, which account for 65% of total spending, indicating that “in the context of prolonged low oil prices, if spending on wages and pensions remains high, The fiscal deficit will remain large and the government will not be able to allocate additional resources necessary for spending on infrastructure and health.

The report states that rampant corruption, a weak regulatory framework, and a poor business environment still impede private sector development, job creation, and increased foreign direct investment flows, while the disadvantageous classification of Iraq was equally unfavorable in the Doing Business report issued by the World Bank where it was resolved. Iraq is ranked 171 out of 190 countries, which is also a problem and reflects great difficulties for companies to obtain credit, access to electricity and trade, and to protect their rights in court.

Returning to the huge amount that entered the Iraqi treasury, despite the crisis, it appears that it was really huge, but there is horrific corruption and dishonest governments, whether Adel Abdul Mahdi or the Al-Kazemi government that came last May.   LINK

Deputy Diyar Barwari: The Region Will Export Its Oil Through SOMO At A Rate Of 250,000 Barrels Per Day

Saturday 23, January 2021 22:05 | Economical Views: 786   Baghdad / NINA / The deputy of the Kurdistan Democratic Party, Diyar Barwari, announced: “The Kurdistan region will export its oil through the Iraqi Oil Marketing Company (SOMO) at 250 thousand barrels per day.”

Berwari said in a televised statement: “The articles of the federal budget did not address the financial crisis, and do not touch the current reality of the country.”  He continued: “Iraq spent 82 trillion dinars during the year 2020 without a federal budget.”

Al-Abadi: We Handed Over To Abdul Mahdi A Surplus Of $ 14 Billion

Money  and business  Economy News – Baghdad  The former prime minister, Haider al-Abadi, announced that he handed over the previous government headed by Adel Abdul Mahdi a surplus of $ 14 billion.

Al-Abadi said, in his interview with the Kuwaiti newspaper Al-Nahar, which was seen by Al-Iktissad News, “I inherited a country that is on the verge of complete collapse due to terrorism, bankruptcy, sectarianism and external dispossession. 14 billion dollars. ”

He added that the current government went to easy options, reducing the value of the dinar and adopting a borrowing policy, and we opposed that, and we said that the citizen is the victim, and that this policy will lead the country to the economic financial collapse, and there are many solutions, some of them are difficult but required, and some need standing against The interests of some state forces, quota systems, and corruption.  Number of observations 273 Date added 01/24/2021

Washington Renews Its Support For Iraq In The Face Of Terrorism Within The Framework Of The International Coalition

Political – 01/24/2021 Baghdad – Mawazine News The United States of America renewed, on Sunday, its continued support for Iraq in confronting terrorism within the framework of the international coalition.

A statement by the Office of the National Security Adviser, Qassem Al-Araji, in a statement Mawazine News received a copy of, stated that the latter “received today in his office the US ambassador in Baghdad, Matthew Tueller.”

The statement added, “The American ambassador offered condolences to the martyrs of Tayaran Square and the martyrs of the Popular Mobilization Forces, who confronted the terrorist groups, yesterday, Saturday,” stressing his country’s continued support “for Iraq in the face of terrorism within the framework of the international coalition.”

Al-Araji pointed out, during the meeting, that “Iraq looks forward to continuing support for the international coalition in the field of combating terrorism, and exchanging information on terrorists, until the elimination of the remaining terrorist cells.”

For his part, the American ambassador clarified that “his country’s differences with Iran still exist, and that Washington seeks to resolve them through diplomatic means,” noting that “a diplomatic solution needs great efforts.”

Iraq Needs To Restructure Its Economy According To The Global Context

Sunday 24th January 2021 58  Baghdad: Shukran Al-Fatlawi   Economic specialist Fawzi Muhammad Al-Zobaei called for the necessity of restructuring the economy in accordance with the global context and reforming the business environment represented by procedures and laws and making it an appropriate and attractive environment for private sector activity.

He said: The productive and service sectors in the country desperately need to organize the reality of their work in a manner that suits the developmental directions sought by the country, as we can achieve a multiplicity of resources, when strategic plans are adopted under the supervision of experts, who have the ability to improve performance and have access to important global experiences. “.

He pointed out, “the importance of Iraqi economic reform according to modern economic foundations, that is, providing the basis for its transfer from a central economy to a free market economy, as well as encouraging and developing the private sector in a manner that ensures the full investment of its resources and diversification of its sources.

He warned that “Iraq has the capabilities of the rapid advancement of all its productive and service sectors, and here it is possible to benefit from local, regional and international efforts to bring about an economic renaissance.”

Al-Zobaie pointed out that “the private sector is the owner of the elements of success, represented by advanced technology and capital, and that it is the main pillar of the economy of most countries of the world.” Many files will be solved, including the banking sector.   LINK

What Is The Way To Invest In The Available Opportunities?

Sunday 24th January 2021  88  Yasser Al-Metwally, we were  pleased with the opportunities provided by the government through the tours that the Prime Minister conducted for a number of countries, which led to the conclusion of some protocols, agreements, areas of cooperation and participation contracts in investment fields.

More than four months have passed since some of them have not been implemented on the ground, or any indication or disclosure of any project to start or implement.

The situation of Iraq and the financial crisis that it is experiencing and the budget swings in the corridors of parliament foreshadow new additional challenges that will push the government to rely on internal and external borrowing, and the negative repercussions of this trend on the economic reality of Iraq.

The remaining period for this government is short if the issue of early elections is decided, and as it will be preceded by the dissolution of Parliament and the transformation of the government into a caretaker government, so that it adheres to specific exchange doors. And Jordan, and other countries, with the aim of stimulating the economic cycle and ensuring alleviation of demand for internal borrowing.

The search for non-rent financial resources (not dependent on oil) requires activating the industrial and agricultural productive sectors to activate the movement of capital turnover, allowing devotion to implement development programs.

How can development be achieved?

The investment will ensure a reduction in the time required to initiate development programs, as it guarantees the diversification of resources, which strengthen the budget and thus contribute to the movement of capital turnover, as I indicated.

Now, what are we waiting for then to activate investment agreements, as long as they will contribute significantly to resolving the economic situation by providing wide job opportunities for the unemployed as well as activating large circles in the labor market and the commercial market to stimulate production capacity to respond to the demand for local production, for many locally produced goods and commodities In doing so, development is stimulated.

What we have seen of the remarkable development of local production during the exhibition (Made in Iraq) indicates the creative stock of the Iraqi product.

However, this stock is restricted due to the open policy of dumping commodities, which makes it not resistant to price competition and drives it to rationing.

For this reason, a previous article called for the necessity to discuss the wrong trade policy by holding a meeting of the economic elites with the relevant ministries, and the article was entitled (The Shortest Way) in which I discussed this vital and important aspect.

Now that we have seen the prestigious Iraqi manufacturing capabilities, the need has become more urgent to support the national product in order to diversify the sources of financing the budget to make room for oil revenues to direct them towards investment in infrastructure projects and support development programs.

Perhaps someone who notices a mixing of two separate topics in this article, I say yes, because I deliberately confused the two topics in order to demonstrate the effect and importance of activating investments in moving the market, as they constitute a wider area to stimulate local production, how?

Upon the arrival of investments to Iraq, the labor market will certainly revive, and the demand for goods and services will increase, creating job opportunities and stimulating local production, which provides some of the investor’s requirements, thus ensuring a wider investment of the available opportunity. LINK

Diagnose And Invest Resources

Sunday 24th January 2021  57  Baghdad: Morning  The academic d. Imad Al-Ani is the necessity of moving towards diagnosing resources and working to invest them in the best way to serve the national economy.

He pointed out that “increasing public revenues, especially non-oil revenues, and starting to exploit the available resources from mineral resources, especially natural gas resources, in a way that will achieve the largest possible financial returns.”

He drew attention to “the importance of raising the level of managing state property from land, real estate and other properties in terms of effectiveness and efficiency, managing public institutions and companies according to economic principles and modern accounting standards, and providing the government’s share of its surplus profits first-hand.”  LINK

Rasheed Bank Announces Raising Employee Salaries For The Month Of January

Pratha News Agency81 2021-01-24   Al-Rasheed Bank announced today, Sunday, that it will start raising the salaries of employees of government departments whose salaries are located at the bank.

“We invite all employees to review bank branches and automated exchange offices as soon as they receive text messages informing them of the salary increase,” the bank’s notification said in a statement.

The statement added, “The bank will continue to raise all funds as soon as they arrive.”

The House Of Representatives Votes On Two Laws And A Resolution And Warns Against Circumventing The Interrogation Procedures

01/23/2021  The House of Representatives voted in its thirty-sixth session, which was held under the chairmanship of Mr. Mohamed Al-Halbousi, Speaker of the House, this evening, Saturday 23/1/2021, on two laws and a parliamentary decision, and began the first reading of the draft Social Security and Retirement Law for Workers.

At the beginning of the session, Mr. Bashir Al-Haddad, Deputy Chairman of the Council, denounced the criminal incident that occurred two days ago in Tayaran Square, in which a number of innocent citizens were killed, calling on the government to intensify its efforts to maintain security and safety of citizens and to increase the intelligence effort to prevent terrorist acts.

After that, the Majlis recited Surat Al-Fatiha as a mercy for the souls of the martyrs of the Eastern Bab region and Iraq in general.

A number of deputies demanded accountability for negligence, the arrest of the perpetrators, activation of the intelligence role and the implementation of death sentences against terrorists issued by court rulings, in addition to calling on the government to assume its responsibilities to maintain security without resorting to unprofessional changes in security positions and away from political harassment.

In the same context, Dr. Bashir Al-Haddad directed the security, defense, human rights and martyrs’ committees to follow up the causes of the criminal incident in the Bab Al-Sharqi region.

In another matter, the Council voted on the draft law on the accession of the Republic of Iraq to the International Convention on Civil Liability for Damage from Ship Fuel Oil Pollution of 2001 submitted by the Foreign Relations, Health and Environment Committees, with the aim of developing complementary measures to ensure adequate, prompt and effective compensation for the damage caused by the pollution caused. For the leakage or discharge of bunker oil fuel and the adoption of specific international rules and procedures to determine liability issues and to provide adequate compensation in these cases.

The Council voted on the draft law on the accession of the Republic of Iraq to the international convention on controlling ship systems resistant to sticking and having harmful effects for the year 2001 submitted by the Committee on Foreign Relations to find alternative effective measures aimed at reducing pollution caused by tin organic compounds used in systems resistant to sticking impurities on ships and treating Its harmful effects and for the purpose of Iraq’s accession to the agreement.

The Council requested a vote on the proposal for the third amendment to the Law of Accountants and Auditors Association No. (185) for the year 1969 submitted by the Finance Committee.

In the same regard, the Council voted on a representative decision that stipulated: First: The Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research shall undertake to expand the seats for postgraduate studies (Master – PhD) and as follows, three seats for the general admission channel, three seats for the private admission channel, and one seat for each category for the family channel The martyrs and victims of terrorism between the three categories of the channel, and one seat for the Medical and Health Staff Channel, and the vacant seats rotate from the General Admission Channel to the Medical Staff Channel in support of the White Army, including students who obtained no objection to study before 9/30/2020 ( text of the decision ).

The Council requested the report and discussion of the proposed law to return the employees of the Ministries of Defense and Interior to service, which was submitted by the Security and Defense Committee until the government’s opinion on the proposal is stated.

The President of the Council directed the General Secretariat of the Council of Representatives to address the Council of Ministers to express their opinion on the proposed law of returning employees of the Ministries of Defense and Interior to service from the financial point of view.

On the other hand, the House of Representatives postponed the questioning of the head of the Media and Communications Commission, presented by Representative Alaa Sabah al-Rubaie, after the questioner sent a document issued by the Nursing Department of the Medical City indicating that he was infected with the new Corona virus and entered quarantine.

For his part, Representative Alaa al-Rubaie reviewed during the session questions related to legal violations of the work of the Media and Communications Commission, despite the absence of the Commission’s president.

MP Al-Rubaie’s questions included breaches in concluding contracts, renewing licenses for mobile phone companies, non-commitment to consumer protection and waste of public money, granting companies additional periods of up to three years and new frequencies, failure to collect taxes on mobile companies, and his misleading of the Council of Ministers in violation of the provisions of the law and instructions stipulated To maximize state revenues.

For his part, Mr. Al-Halbousi praised the role of the questioned MP Al-Rubaie for exercising oversight duties and collecting information related to the interrogation of the importance of this vital sector and its reflection on the public life of citizens, explaining that the Council will proceed with the interrogation procedures in absentia in the event that the issuance of the health document sent to him is not proven correct, warning of the consequences of circumventing the procedures The interrogation practiced by the House of Representatives, holding the Ministry of Health or any other health authority responsible for the inaccuracy of any document issued by them.

Attorney Alaa Al-Rubaie called to verify the health status of the head of the Media and Communications Commission by addressing the concerned party that prepared the health report or for a competent body to conduct a survey of the interviewee in his place of residence.

President Al-Halbousi directed the General Secretariat of the Council to inform the government and the Ministry of Health to send a medical detachment to the house of the President of the Media and Communications Authority to confirm his infection with the Corona virus, as well as to verify the validity of the document sent to the Council, which indicated that he was infected with the virus.

During the session chaired by Mr. Bashir Al-Haddad, the council proceeded with the first reading of the draft law on social security and retirement for workers submitted by the Committee on Labor, Social Affairs, Immigration and Displaced Persons for a broader inclusion of workers in state departments of the three sectors (private, mixed and cooperative) and every person covered by the labor law who passes for years Their lives at work without any real guarantee that guarantees a decent life for them and their families, confirmation of the principles stipulated in the constitution, in response to current developments and confrontations of social crises, and in line with the International Labor Organization’s call to expand the base of social protection and to include wider categories of Iraqi society with social security for workers.

The interventions of the ladies and gentlemen of the Council members focused on the need to emphasize the prime minister’s need to come to the House of Representatives to answer the oral questions addressed to him by the ladies and gentlemen, and to address the international community through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to help open mass graves in Nineveh Governorate, and to demand payment of farmers ’dues and install employees Contracts employed by the provincial elections commission offices.

After that, it was decided to adjourn the session to next Tuesday 01/26/2021

Information Department  House of Representatives  1/23/2021   LINK

Haitham Al-Jabouri: We Intend To Take Steps To Support The Private Sector During 2021

MP Haitham Al-Jubouri   Money  and business  Economy News – Baghdad   A member of the Finance Committee in the House of Representatives, Haitham Al-Jubouri, announced the committee’s intention to supply some paragraphs in the 2021 budget that would support the private sector.

“There are many texts placed (in the 2021 budget) to support the private sector,” Al-Jubouri said in televised statements seen by Al-Iqtisad News.

He pointed out that some of these texts relate to “paying the contractors and farmers’ dues accumulated during previous years, as well as exempting some of those who are late from paying the interest on letters of guarantee if the state budget permits that.”

Al-Jubouri stressed that these steps will enhance the status of the private sector in the Iraqi economy.

He added that the government’s trend during the current year is towards maximizing financial revenues by imposing taxes on imported luxury goods in addition to activating electricity collection, as well as other matters.

He pointed out the government’s intention to allocate 50% of the revenues of the ministries’ funds to the state treasury.   Number of observations 80 Date added 01/24/2021

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