KTFA “Riots, Banking and More Iraq News”



Henig:  Economist: Appointing al-Alaq is a positive step to gain the confidence of the Federal Reserve Bank and the US Treasury


Baghdad / NINA / – The economist, Hammam Al-Shamma’, confirmed: The appointment of Ali Mohsen Al-Alaq as governor of the Central Bank of Iraq is a positive step for gaining the confidence of the Federal Bank and the US Treasury Department.


He told the National Iraqi News Agency / NINA /: The change of the former governor is a completely positive step because he made mistakes by giving some the lion’s share in the transactions of buying and selling the currency.


Al-Shamaa added: The appointment of Ali Al-Alaq, who was an honest and honorable patriotic conservative, gained great confidence from the Federal Bank and the US Treasury Department, and with his wisdom and experience, things will be restored to the right place .


Yesterday, Monday, the Prime Minister, Muhammad Al-Sudani, dismissed the Central Bank Governor, Mustafa Ghaleb Makhaif, at his request. Ali Mohsen Al-Alaq was appointed to replace him.   LINK


Clare: Human waves storm Al-Rasheed and approach the Iraqi Central Bank.. Pictures




The demonstrations that took place on Wednesday morning continue in front of the Central Bank of Iraq in the center of the capital, Baghdad, to demand the stability of the dollar exchange rate and to save the dinar from collapse.


Pictures taken by Shafaq News agency showed hundreds of demonstrators forming human waves, who were met by the security forces of the law enforcement forces.


The demonstration began in the morning, with the participation of hundreds of Baghdad residents, as well as others who came from various Iraqi governorates, starting from Al-Rusafi Square, to extend to the depth of Al-Rashid Street opposite the Arab Market, where the Iraqi Central Bank building and the Iraqi government banks complex are located.


The demonstrators, who numbered about 800, became about 100 meters away from the Central Bank building, fortified with heavy security forces.


Shafaq News agency reporter stated that the Organizing Committee for the demonstrations near the Central Bank called on the demonstrators to withdraw from this afternoon, with a delegation sent to the Governor of the Central Bank to propose solutions with a specific time limit.


The demonstrators are calling for an end to speculation in the dollar’s exchange rates, urgent economic measures to be taken to restore the dollar’s exchange rate within the official context, and to hold the corrupt accountable.


They also called, through loudspeakers, on Prime Minister Muhammad Shia’a al-Sudani to “go out to the people” and announce realistic measures to alleviate the crisis and restore prices to stability.


The demonstrators raised sarcastic demands, demanding that an artist intervene in resolving the issue “according to her relations with politicians,” while some wrote on his banner that “politicians are covering up banking corruption and transfer companies.”


Today, a spokesman for the Iraqi Ministry of Interior revealed, to Shafaq News agency, that a number of “unlicensed” exchange offices and banks dealing in the process of selling dollars outside the Central Bank’s controls were closed. higher than the specified price.


Since November 2022, the exchange rate of the US dollar against the Iraqi dinar has witnessed a gradual increase, reaching its highest levels in recent days, as it exceeded the barrier of 165 thousand dinars per 100 dollars.




Henig:  The overthrow of speculators and the street gives the central bank a week to save the dinar


January 25, 2023


The overthrow of speculators and the street gives the central bank a week to save the dinar


Baghdad – Qusay Munther


Protesters gave, during mass demonstrations in front of the Central Bank building on Al-Rasheed Street in central Baghdad, the new governor, Ali Al-Alaq, a week to save the dinar from collapsing.


The demonstrators, who were met by the security forces of the law enforcement forces, withdrew after handing over their demands to the bank’s administration.



The demonstrations started yesterday morning, starting from Al-Rusafi Square, and extended to the depth of Al-Rasheed Street, opposite the Arab Market, where the bank building and the government banking complex are located.


Eyewitnesses said that (the organizing committee for the demonstrations called on the protesters to withdraw after sending a delegation to the new governor to propose solutions with a specific time limit of one week to save the dinar from collapsing).


During the protest, the demonstrators demanded an end to speculation in the exchange rates of the dollar, and urgent economic measures to be taken to restore the exchange rate of the dollar within the official context and to hold the corrupt accountable.


Calling, through loudspeakers, (Prime Minister Muhammad Shia’a al-Sudani to go out before the people and announce realistic measures that alleviate the crisis and return prices to stability).


The demonstrators raised banners, calling for the intervention of an artist in resolving the issue according to her relations with politicians, while some wrote on his banner that politicians are covering up bank corruption and transfer companies.


While the governor, Ali Al-Alaq, directed the formation of an investigative committee regarding the fate of the soft trillion dinars initiative funds.


Sources reported that (Iraq directed the formation of an investigative committee into the fate of soft loans that have been allocated to projects that serve the national economy).


In turn, the spokesman for the Ministry of Interior, Khaled Al-Muhanna, confirmed that the security forces closed a number of unlicensed banking offices and banks that deal in the process of selling dollars outside the controls of the Central Bank.


And he said in a statement yesterday that (these banks are buying the dollar at the official price from the auction selling the currency and selling it outside the controls at a price higher than the specified price).


The statement stated that (the ministry’s detachments intensified their efforts to follow up the manipulators of the dollar exchange rates outside the controls and laws, and based on accurate information and the intensification of intelligence effort and careful work, a detachment of the Federal Intelligence and Investigation Agency was formed and an elaborate ambush was set up in the Darman joint control linking the Kirkuk-Erbil road, Where a vehicle was seized in which two suspects were trying to enter Kirkuk and they were carrying with them an amount of money amounting to 200 million dinars, category 25 thousand), and he added that (one of the defendants admitted that he is the owner of 4 Qi Card outlets in cooperation with a person who owns an exchange company, they are speculating in dollars, and that is through Selling the dollar to one of the people mentioned in the confessions and receiving the amounts in dinars from a bank in Erbil).


Yesterday, Wednesday, the exchange rates of the dollar witnessed a rise in the local stock exchange. The sale of the dollar was recorded at 161 thousand dinars per 100 dollars, while the purchase price of the dollar was recorded at 160 thousand dinars per 100 dollars.


In addition, Al-Zaman reviewed leaks circulated on social media, quoting experts regarding the current year’s budget, in which it was stated that (the budget will be approved for an amount exceeding 200 trillion dinars, and it will include about 17 percent for the Kurdistan region, according to prior understandings discussed during the establishment of the State Administration Coalition, which It resulted in the birth of the government of Muhammad Shia’a, the Sudanese Sudanese)


And the experts confirmed that (the currency exchange rate will be fixed at 146 dinars against one dollar, and the price of a barrel of oil will be estimated at 70 to 60 dollars, and the budget will cover the salaries of the employees of the center and the region, in addition to providing financial cover for contract employees who The government was forced to contract with them).   LINK




Clare:  An Iraqi delegation visits Washington to discuss the crisis of the rising dollar




The Islamic Supreme Council, one of the forces of the coordination framework, revealed today, Wednesday, that an Iraqi delegation will soon visit the United States of America in order to discuss the high exchange rate of the dollar in Iraq.


The spokesman for the council, Ali al-Daffi, told Shafaq News agency, “A leading delegation from the Iraqi Ministry of Finance and the Central Bank of Iraq will visit the United States of America in the coming days in order to discuss the US Federal Reserve’s policy and give an appropriate opportunity of time so that Iraqi banks can adapt and deal with the system.” The new banker.


Al-Daffi stated that “the issue of fighting corruption, money laundering, and currency smuggling cannot be addressed with the stroke of a pen, but rather requires decisions and procedures,” stressing, “We support fighting corruption and ending money laundering and currency smuggling from Iraq, but there must be a reasonable amount of time.” So that the Iraqi government can follow up and implement these measures.


The US ambassador to Iraq, Alina Romanowski, says that the United States does not set the exchange rate for the dollar and has not imposed sanctions on new Iraqi banks.


Romanowski said in a televised interview that Washington “continues a mechanism that took several years to strengthen the Iraqi banking sector to help it comply with the global banking system, and to ensure that the banking system is not used to launder the Iraqi people’s money and smuggle it out of Iraq.”


Romanowski also indicated that these procedures began two years ago with gradual implementation by Iraqi banks, according to an agreement between the US Federal Bank and the Central Bank of Iraq, adding that they are “designed to prevent and restrict money laundering, as suspending or postponing them leads to a rollback in the system.”


And the Iraqi currency lost about 10 percent of its value, says the Wall Street Journal in a report it published a few days ago, after procedures related to imposing compliance rules on the Central Bank of Iraq’s dealings with currency dealers with regard to the US dollar.


Under the new procedures, Iraqi banks are required to submit dollar transfers on a new online platform with the Central Bank of Iraq, which are then reviewed by the Federal Reserve Bank.


US officials say the system aims to limit the use of the Iraqi banking system to smuggle dollars to Tehran, Damascus and money laundering havens across the Middle East.   LINK


Henig: Does “electronic payment” save the exchange rate of the Iraqi dinar?


January 24, 2023


Against the inflated prices of basic goods and services in the Iraqi markets, the exchange rate of the dinar continues to decline against the dollar and foreign currencies, amid government attempts to deal with the recession, which economists describe as “the largest in decades.”


With the aim of revitalizing the economic movement, stopping the fluctuation of the dinar exchange rate, and controlling the smuggling of dollars and foreign currencies from Iraq to Iran and other countries, the Iraqi government is seeking to activate the electronic payment system.


And a statement issued by the office of the Iraqi Prime Minister, Muhammad Shia’a al-Sudani, after the cabinet session, which was held last week, announced work to activate the electronic payment system, as of the first of next June.


According to the statement: “The Council of Ministers approved the recommendation of the Ministerial Council of Economy, which stipulated that the Central Bank of Iraq should facilitate the procedures for granting licenses to collect bank cards using points of sale (POS), and reduce commissions on banks and entities that use those devices.”


The decision requires all governmental, non-governmental, and mixed departments, trade unions, associations, and all centers where amounts are collected, to open bank accounts and provide point-of-sale devices for electronic payment by bank cards.


Step by step


The economist, Salam Sumaisem, enumerates the steps to be taken by the Iraqi government to respond to the electronic payment system, namely: electronic outlets, filtering remittances, and monitoring import permits and credits.


In her interview with “Raise Your Voice,” she points out that electronic payment reduces currency smuggling, but the problem goes beyond that, as she adds: “There are mistakes in the structure of the Iraqi economy. The issue is not exclusively related to the monetary authorities, which are the central bank and its relationship with the government. The issue is also related to The structure of the Iraqi economy and its dependence on imports and the need to remove the currency, which is the main problem, as well as the control of import companies, which are originally subsidiaries of banks that monopolize the dollar. These issues need structural solutions, not formal procedural solutions.


And she affirms: “The electronic automation of the outlets is an essential first step that must be followed by larger steps.”


Since last November, the exchange rate of the dollar has risen against the Iraqi dinar, without the central bank’s decisions being able to stop the decline in the dinar’s exchange rate, which recently broke the barrier of 1,650 dinars against one dollar.


The Central Bank set the purchase price from the Ministry of Finance at (1450) dinars per dollar, and the selling price to banks at (1460) dinars per dollar, while the sale price to citizens was set at (1470) dinars per dollar.


opportunity for banks


The economist, Hammam Al-Shamaa, sees electronic banking as an opportunity to increase cash liquidity in banks, by enhancing deposits in exchange for withdrawals, and explains: “Customers do not withdraw money when they deal with merchants through credit cards.”


In his interview with “Raise Your Voice”, Al-Shammaa excludes any effect of electronic banking, which the government seeks to implement, on the fluctuation of currency rates in the Iraqi markets.


He explains in this regard: “If the relationship between the local currency and foreign currencies changes, up or down, the purchasing power of the monetary unit will differ, whether it is electronic or paper, and this confirms that there is no relationship between the exchange rate and electronic banking.”




For his part, the Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Iraq, Ammar Hamad Khalaf, described, in a statement to the official Al-Iraqiya news channel, the government’s decision to activate electronic payment in all joints as “important support for the Iraqi bank and economy.”


Khalaf continued, “The bank has been working to implement this service for years as a basic business strategy, to complement the salary settlement project that began years ago, and it supports reducing outlets for money exchange (cash) as a case that does not serve the Iraqi economy.”


Although the economist, Khattab Omran Al-Daman, emphasized the importance of the electronic financial system in reducing cases of exploitation and increasing prices practiced by some retailers, its impact on the dollar exchange rates will remain limited, since the system will deal with transactions concluded in Iraqi dinars and not in US dollars.


And the guarantor adds to “Raise Your Voice,” “The high exchange rates of the dollar against the dinar is due to the imbalance between the demand for the dollar and the quantities offered of it in the Iraqi markets as a result of the controls that the Central Bank has begun to apply, and therefore the stability of the dollar exchange rates needs quick and organized efforts from the Central Bank.” To achieve a balance between the forces of supply and demand, by ensuring the flow of dollars to importers directly, without prejudice to measures to prevent smuggling of dollars and money laundering.   LINK




Henig:  Oil prices are recovering again


Time: 01/25/2023 07:23:31


{Economic: Al Furat News} Crude oil prices rebounded, on Wednesday, thanks to hopes for a recovery in demand in China, the largest oil importer in the world, after easing the restrictions of Covid-19, after declining in the previous session due to concerns surrounding global economic growth.


Brent crude futures rose 59 cents, or 0.7 percent, to $86.72 a barrel by 0214 GMT, after falling 2.3 percent in the previous session.


West Texas Intermediate crude futures rose 46 cents, or 0.6 percent, to $80.59 a barrel, after falling 1.8 percent on Tuesday.


Economic concerns were exacerbated by a larger-than-expected build in US oil inventories, whose data was released after the market closed on Tuesday.


US crude inventories rose by about 3.4 million barrels in the week ending January 20, according to market sources, citing American Petroleum Institute figures on Tuesday. This represents three times the increase expected by Reuters in a preliminary poll conducted on Monday by about one million barrels.


Official data from the US Energy Information Administration will be released later on Wednesday.


Oil supply is supposed to remain stable over the medium term, as the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its allies, a group known as OPEC+, are expected to maintain their production quotas.


Five sources in OPEC + said yesterday, Tuesday, that the OPEC + committee is likely to endorse the current oil production policy for the group of producers when it meets next week, as there is a balance between hopes for an increase in Chinese demand and concerns about inflation and the global economy.   LINK