KTFA (Samson & Don961)

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Samson: Meaning of the exchange rate and the implications of changing it

18:36 – 02/04/2021 – Books / Salah Hizam

The exchange rate means the reciprocal relationship between the national currency and the rest of the world’s currencies.

And this is either directly or through an intermediate currency (the relationship of the Iraqi dinar to the currency of Vietnam or Paraguay, for example, is done through the relationship of each of these currencies to a third currency, such as the US dollar, for example). The prices calculated in this way are called cross rates.

There is an exchange rate for sale and an exchange rate for purchase. That is, there is a price when an individual or company asks for a number of foreign currency units, and this is called the selling price. There is another price, which is usually lower, and it is called the purchase price. It is meant when an individual or company owns units of a foreign currency and wishes to exchange them for the national currency.

In other words, it is the number of units of a particular foreign currency that can be obtained against one unit of the national currency. Or, it can be said in reverse, as it is said to mean the number of units of the national currency needed to obtain a unit of a particular foreign currency. Thus, trade relations in all its forms between countries are determined on the basis of this transfer price. This is the factor that determines the attractiveness of a particular country’s goods in the markets of another country or vice versa, as it may appear cheap or expensive

From the users’ point of view of that commodity.

And currencies are types, including local currency that cannot be traded outside the borders of the countries that own that currency (according to the law). And currencies are negotiable in the global market (hard currencies) foreign exchange

Like dollars, euros, pounds and yen … And the currency of a foreign country is not only needed by companies when imported from that country only, but also by those who travel to that country. This is what makes some countries work to reduce their exchange rates to encourage exports to other countries as well as reduce imports, because imported goods will be of high prices and people will be reluctant to buy them.

The exchange rate and its changes are of great importance in adjusting the state’s balance of payments conditions, whether it is developed or developing countries. Whereas, lowering the exchange rate, for example, reduces imports and increases exports, which will positively affect the status of the balance of payments. The opposite happens when the exchange rate is raised.

This is a major reason for the United States’ continued pressure on China to raise the exchange rate of its currency (the yuan), because this will reduce the degree of competitiveness of Chinese products in the US market, as their prices will rise when converted to US dollars.

How is the exchange rate determined?

There is a fixed exchange rate set by the authorities against a single currency (strong and stable, such as the dollar) or against a basket of currencies that includes the currencies of the main trading partners. There is a flexible or floating exchange rate (an administered float that is driven by the authorities according to the requirements of the economic situation, or a flexible float determined by market forces and economic conditions).

Effects of changing the exchange rate:

Economic effects:

When the exchange rate changes, the prices of imported goods change (rise lower and lower at high). Likewise, prices of locally produced goods change if they depend on imported parts or raw materials. The change in the exchange rate also affects the performance of investments, the interest rate and the rate of inflation.

The effect of that change may extend to jobs and the real estate sector.

Social implications:

The most prominent of these is changing the population’s standard of living for better or worse. This may raise the rates of poverty and deprivation among certain segments of the population (when the exchange rate falls). The effect is more evident as the number of imported products increases (such as Iraq, for example), and it increases by the devaluation of the currency (at least) in addition to the possibility of higher prices more than that as a result of merchants’ exploitation of the price chaos that the decision generates as a result of the greedy desire for more profit, or from a door Hedge the worst, especially in the absence or lack of confidence in the authorities that control the exchange rate.

Why is the exchange rate changed?

The most prominent reason is to subsidize exports and curb the demand for imported materials. This leads to an improvement in the balance of payments situation and an increase in the foreign currency reserves in the country. The reasons may also be purely developmental and not related to the status of the balance of payments, as the decision leads to an increase in the demand for local products and thus increased production and employment, etc. … (assuming the availability of capacity and the desire to increase local production).

In a rentier country like Iraq in which the government’s budget depends on its revenues from exporting oil, this decision raises the proceeds in Iraqi dinars, which the Ministry of Finance obtains from selling dollars to the Central Bank and according to the rate of reduction in the exchange rate (the finance used to take from the central bank 1,200 dinars for each A dollar, now she takes 1,450 dinars for every dollar.)

Oil export revenues belong to the Ministry of Finance, which it sells to the Central Bank, which keeps dollars there for use in fulfilling import obligations and the like. Countries whose currencies are fully floating (free float) cannot make a decision to raise or lower the exchange rate directly, but rather use indirect tools to achieve this, including changing the interest rate (which is carried out by the Central Bank).

In conclusion, changing the exchange rate confuses companies’ accounts, confuses contractual relations, confuses relations between wholesalers and retailers, causes serious chaos in the relationship between creditors and debtors, and renders companies’ financial statements meaningless, as well as companies’ business results and final accounts.

I will address on a future occasion the issue of economic and financial accounts in light of inflation caused by the sudden and large reduction of the national currency exchange rate, God willing.  LINK


Don961:  An economist talks about a “hidden war” that the state is waging to protect its financial policy

1,374 Economie 2021/04/02 18:54    Baghdad today – Baghdad

The economic expert, Rasim Al-Akidi, spoke today, Friday, about a “hidden war” that the government is waging with tools that work for regional countries, and seeks to hit the government’s financial policy, after the decision to raise the dollar exchange rate.

“The high exchange rate of the dollar after the approval of the Iraqi budget for the year 2021 is not surprising to us, and we expected it several weeks ago,” said Rasim al-Aqidi, in an interview with (Baghdad Today), pointing out that “the government adopted the framework of the dollar-administered float to legalize its sale and prevent its smuggling abroad.” In various ways, but at the same time it lost control of the price movement system for goods and materials, especially basic foodstuffs.

Al-Aqidi added, “The government is currently fighting a hidden war with multiple tools working abroad for the benefit of regional countries, and is seeking to strike the financial policy adopted by Baghdad, after the decision to raise the dollar exchange rate,” indicating that “the war comes in terms of introducing imported materials illegally.” Or obtaining discounts, as well as tax evasion. ”

He continued, “Under the current circumstances, the dollar has become subject to the free float framework in the manner of speculation, supply and demand, which means that its rise to the top is very possible, but in return the government will not push into pumping large sums of money in an attempt to thwart what those parties and tools want.”

The economic expert pointed out, “The government unfortunately lost the principle of a sensitive balance between local production and its ability to cover market needs, so there is no consensus or coordination between the relevant departments in order to provide production and marketing requirements, and this is not in the government’s interest.”   link

Samson:  With the participation of about 200 companies … The launch of the activities of the Third Spring Shopping Festival in Sulaymaniyah

4th April, 2021

The Ministry of Trade announced, on Saturday, the launch of the activities of the Third Spring Shopping Festival in the Sulaymaniyah Governorate for the period from 1 to 10 April 2021 and on the land of Sulaymaniyah Governorate.

The general manager of the Iraqi Exhibitions Company, Sarmad Taha Saeed, said, “This festival witnessed the participation of about 200 companies from the countries of Turkey, Egypt and Iran, in addition to local Iraqi companies, as most of these companies work in the field of foodstuffs,” indicating that “the festival aims to reduce prices. Food with the approach of the holy month of Ramadan.”

Saeed added, “The festival has taken upon itself to take all preventive and health measures and to spread sterilization devices at the entrances and gates of the exhibition in order to prevent the emerging corona virus and in implementation of the health directives announced by the Ministry of Health and Environment and the crisis cell.”

And, “the establishment of such festivals will contribute to achieving openness to the Iraqi market and a great opportunity for Arab and international companies to display their products in Iraq.”

The opening ceremony was witnessed by the presence of the President of the Exporters and Importers Union, Mustafa Abdel-Rahman, the President of the Sulaymaniyah Chamber of Commerce, and a number of political and security figures, merchants and businessmen in the Sulaymaniyah Governorate. LINK


Samson:  When does the budget law enter into force?

4th April, 2021

The Parliamentary Finance Committee confirmed, on Saturday, that the Federal Budget Law for 2021 will enter into force as of the beginning of this year.

The deputy of the committee, Sherwan Mirza, said that “the Presidency of the Council of Representatives will send the federal budget law for the year 2021 to the Presidency of the Republic for the purpose of ratification, and then the law will be published in the Iraqi newspaper Al-Waqa’i’.”

Mirza added, “The budget law will enter into force after that and with retroactive effect, meaning from 1/1/2021 until 12/31/2021,” noting that “these measures did not take a long time and the law will come into effect soon.”

He stated, “The Federal Ministry of Finance will also issue budget instructions without changing any article of the federal budget law for the year 2021.”   LINK

Ryan1216:  I pray Iraq hurries and the budget is officially signed into law


Samson:  Al-Haddad announces the date of sending the 2021 budget to the President of the Republic

04/03/2021 16:29:30

Deputy Speaker of the Iraqi Parliament, Dr. Bashir Khalil Al-Haddad explained:

After the House of Representatives voted on the draft federal budget bill for 2021, the draft law was transferred to the relevant department for review and auditing, noting: “After approving the budget, the Parliamentary Affairs Department will scrutinize the articles of the law and match its texts in the final form before sending it to the Presidency of the Republic.”

The President of the Republic, during this week, to be approved and published in the Official Gazette, to enter into force after the Ministry of Finance issued instructions for implementing the budget.  LINK


Samson:  Al-Haddad: The budget entered a new path that precedes the approval of the presidency

3rd April, 2021

The second deputy speaker of Parliament, Bashir Al-Haddad, announced, on Saturday, that the draft budget for 2021 will be referred to the relevant department, while it is likely to be approved by the Presidency of the Republic this week

Al-Haddad said in a press statement followed by Al-Eqtisad News, that after the House of Representatives voted on the draft federal budget law for 2021, the draft law was transferred to the relevant department for review and scrutiny

He added, After the budget is approved, the Parliamentary Affairs Department will check the articles of the law and match its text with the final version before sending it to the Presidency of the Republic

He favored “sending the law to the President of the Republic during this week for approval and publishing it in the Official Gazette, to enter into force after the Ministry of Finance issued instructions for implementing the budget  LINK

Samson:  Smuggled Iraqi funds: a huge corruption file that persecutes politicians and leaders

3rd April, 2021

Experts on Iraqi economic affairs and politicians confirm that the numbers of money smuggled out of the country by partisan and political figures have declined, but did not stop. This comes despite Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kazemi’s announcement that campaigns will continue to control border crossings and prevent smuggling and corruption at crossings with neighboring countries in addition to airports.

Observers disagree about the value of the money that has been smuggled out of Iraq since the US occupation in 2003 until today, but they all agree that it is sufficient to fully rebuild Iraq, provide infrastructure, job opportunities, and establish mega projects.

Iraqis listen to the letters launched by successive governments about projects, laws and mechanisms to recover the stolen money from their country, but they remain ink on paper. Analysts attribute the inability of any government to complete this file due to the large number of those involved in it, in addition to the fact that most of them are members of the same parties that hold power and own militias and armed factions. The President of the Republic, Barham Salih, said, in early March, that he was “in the process of developing a legal code dealing with mechanisms to recover funds stolen from Iraq, which are located abroad.” This is the second comment for Saleh in less than six months, as he had previously confirmed in October 2020 that Iraq was continuing to recover the stolen money and prosecute the corrupt.

The current Minister of Finance, Ali Allawi, had previously indicated that “250 billion dollars were stolen from Iraq since 2003 until now, and this amount builds many countries, and these thefts have led to a decline in Iraq’s economic capabilities.” However, the Integrity Committee in the Iraqi Parliament had estimated at the beginning of this year the amount of money smuggled outside the country at about 350 trillion dinars (239.7 billion US dollars), a number that exceeds the country’s budget for more than two years, according to committee member Taha Al-Dafa’i, who pointed out that “the amounts Smuggling outside the country was through fake receipts. Many of the commissions paid for the purpose of smuggling were obtained by some officials. ”However, former member of the Parliament’s Finance Committee, Rahim al-Darraji, confirmed that the value of the looted money in Iraq is about $ 450 billion.

Al-Araby Al-Jadeed continued with Al-Darraji, who said, “This number rises daily in varying proportions, because the corruption processes led by the influential parties and sponsored by the inside and outside are continuing strongly, and these parties continue to exploit every Iraqi incident or setback to turn it into a form of financial gain.” He explained that “these political forces, and their corrupt personalities, consider Iraq to be nothing more than a mine and a work camp. Therefore, most politicians leave Iraq after the end of their political duties, whether they are parliamentary or governmental, and because the oversight bodies are weak in Iraq and are subject to party influence, the theft don’t be difficult for influential people.”

Iraqis remember many files in this context. The Minister of Defense in Iyad Allawi’s government, Hazem al-Shaalan, was accused of smuggling about one billion dollars, and he was sentenced to seven years in prison, but he is still outside Iraq.

The same applies to the Minister of Commerce in the government of former Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, Abdul Falah al-Sudani, who was accused of stealing $ 4 billion, and Iraqi courts have sentenced him to 21 years imprisonment after his escape abroad. A member of the Iraqi parliament, Basem Khashan, confirmed that “the sums smuggled from Iraq amount to hundreds of billions.” He pointed out that “the current government, as well as the previous one, is unable to recover one dollar of the corrupt.” In an interview with Al-Araby Al-Jadeed, he added, “More than 90 percent of the figures who stole billions of dollars of Iraqi money are prominent members of Iraqi parties supported by external and internal parties, in addition to the fact that most of them possess foreign nationalities, including American ones.” Obstacles in the process of arresting them, and if that happens, it is unlikely that these funds will be found, which will soon turn into properties and companies registered without their names.

For his part, the economist Abdul Rahman al-Mashhadani stated that “the figures that politicians and observers of political and financial affairs in Iraq talk about about the sums smuggled abroad are sufficient to build a complete state from scratch.

Coming, and in crises.” He assured Al-Araby Al-Jadeed that “there are many mechanisms for dealing with smuggled money, such as addressing Interpol and activating Iraqi judicial decisions issued against the accused, in addition to addressing the governments in which the accused settle, and confiscating everything they acquired after assuming positions in Iraq, but all this happens.” If there is political will in Iraq to pursue this file.”  LINK

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