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LounDebNC:  Check this out – got this from Wells – We’re changing our customer service hours Starting on October 25th, service hours for our Small Business Customer Service phone number (1-800-xxx-xxxx) are changing to: Monday through Saturday, 7 am – 11 pm, Eastern Time Sunday 9 am – 10 pm, Eastern Time…..DON’T CALL THE BANKS.

Pearle:  I’ve never seen bank hours like that

Maggieme1:  Received this text from BOA – It says “Financial Centers in your area may be temporarily closed or hours may be modified.” Then it says for more information visit their website…. Website tells you to check with your local branch

PaulW:  Good morning to all, this is a very exciting time to be in this investment… first time in 10 yrs i truly believe this is nearing the end. I credit the new PM.  Question to the room : if the dong is in the same basket as IQD, will they RV at the sane tine? Thanks for sharing.

Pearle:  Paul…yes…they should both be in and RV ..ing

Tishwash:  The mobilization of the demonstrations of the 25th of this month invades the Iraqi trend

In conjunction with the nearness of the major demonstration, which is scheduled to start on the 25th of this month, widespread mobilization continues on social media, as activists and bloggers have published thousands of tweets under different hashtags.

Most of the tweets called on all spectrums of the Iraqi people to unite, reject all differences and join the major demonstration next Sunday, stressing that those who intend to use violence against the demonstrators must know that the uprising will not end and will not die.

Bloggers have published dozens of photos of prominent activists who have been martyred for several months, criticizing the lack of government investigation results yet.

Bloggers stressed the need not to be drawn into violence and focus on organizing demonstrations and working on forming political parties out of the womb of demonstrations to change faces through the ballot boxes.   link

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Tishwash:  Central Bank adopts more sophisticated steps in anti-money laundering systems

Based on the supervisory role of the Central Bank of Iraq, this bank decided to adopt more advanced steps that are commensurate with the nature of services provided by electronic payment companies in the current and future anti-money laundering and terrorist financing systems.

This bank calls on companies to work on adapting their logistical and technical conditions within a maximum period of (6) months, in accordance with the new instructions.

The Central Bank of Iraq  information Office

Based on the central bank’s oversight role, the Bank of Iraq has decided to adopt more sophisticated steps commensurate with the nature of the services provided by electronic payment companies in anti-money laundering and terrorist financing systems now and in the future.

The Bank calls on companies to adapt their logistics and technical conditions within a maximum of (6)

Central Bank of Iraq

Information Office

2020/10/21   ink

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Tishwash:  A deputy calls for taking 3 steps to end the financial crisis and reveals an agreed price for the dollar against the din

The MP for the Saeron bloc, Riyad Al-Masoudi, called on the government to undertake 3 reform steps to address the financial crisis, while noting that .Iraq was losing an amount of up to 5 billion as a result of daily financial practice Al-Masoudi said in a televised interview that (Baghdad Today) that borrowing to finance salaries will harm future generations, and the government must speed up financial reforms without going to difficult solutions.

The white paper is one of the solutions to the crisis, and the government must speed up ” .its procedures .He stressed that the government should implement action plans by organizing the payroll and special grades and maximizing the state’s non-oil revenues He stressed that “the Central Bank pledged to maintain the exchange rate in the range of 121 or 122 thousand dinars for 100 dollars, but there are those who speculate politically and economically with the aim of confusing the financial situation in Iraq and damaging its currency and there are financial “.crises in Syria, Iran, Turkey and Iraq affected by this matter

He called on the central bank to take practical steps to prevent manipulation of the exchange rate, “noting that” Iraq loses between 3-5 billion dollars ” .annually due to the continuous daily currency auction, and this waste must stop with practical measures Earlier, the economic expert, Majed Al-Suri, warned of a move to raise the value of the dollar’s exchange rate at the expense of the Iraqi dinar, because .it would affect those with limited incomes and the poor classes

One of the paragraphs in the white paper that the government sent to Parliament indicates that there is an intention to study the possibility of raising” the value of the dollar exchange rate while preserving the monetary policy and fixing the value of the dinar,” Al-Suri said in a press statement followed ” .by (Baghdad Today), considering that these “solutions More dangerous than reducing salaries He added that “the meaning of devaluation is to reduce the value of salaries indirectly, and all incomes that enter the Iraqi people, as it will affect those “.with limited incomes and classes of the poor through the rise in commodity prices

Al-Suri clarified that, “If the value of the dinar is reduced by 25%, the prices will be multiplied by a factor of about 40 to 50%,” noting that “the white paper did not explicitly say that the exchange rate would be reduced, but rather said that it is among the measures that are possible.” To resort to it is ” .to reduce the exchange rate The government has not made a direct proposal calling for reducing the value of the dinar, but one of the proposals adopted by the government in its” .white paper is to reduce the exchange rate of the Iraqi dinar against the dollar,” he said

The economist pointed out that “one of the reasons for the high exchange rate is” irresponsible statements that dealt with the issue that the government will move towards reducing the exchange rate, “adding that” other things that contributed to the increase in the price of selling the dollar are the ” .absence of political or security stability, which led to an increase. ”

The price of the dollar and commodities The economist touched on “the solutions that the government will pursue to overcome its financial crisis, saying that” the government has several options to solve the financial crisis, including fighting corruption and reducing operating expenses by canceling all salary allocations, which are estimated .at more than (15) trillion dinars out of (28) trillion dinars.

The total salaries of employees in the Iraqi state Al-Suri added that“ the government’s actions in the year 2019 led to an increase in the size of salaries, which rose from 40 trillion dinars to more than” ” .50 trillion dinars, ”explaining that“ reducing allocations and large salaries will save very large money up to More than (15) trillion dinars He emphasized,“ Among the solutions or options offered are three, which are reducing operating expenses and reducing salaries over three years from

I believe that “this measure will save large parts of the Iraqi people from the crisis of price inflation,” noting that “also among the proposals put forward is to increase financial resources from non-oil such as ports and direct and indirect taxes, activate the public, private and mixed sectors and activate ” .industry and agriculture will lead to employment.” Labor and consequently increase taxes

The economist indicated that “among the proposals submitted to the central bank, which it rejected is to raise the exchange rate,” noting that “this “.option is one of the last options that the central bank may resort to in the absence of other solutions to address the financial crisis  link

Tishwash:  41 trillion dinars. Iraqi parliament stunned by three-month borrowing

Nada Shaker Joudt, a member of the parliamentary economic and investment committee, said Wednesday that the amount set in the borrowing law amounted to 41 trillion dinars, saying that the house of representatives was adjusting the amount.

“The borrowing law so far in the Iraqi parliament is being fully studied,” Joudat told The Shafq News, adding that the amount required in the borrowing law is 41 trillion dinars for the remaining three months of this year.

“This figure is huge for a short time, while the amount of 51 trillion dinars has been disbursed for the past nine months, so the House of Representatives will approve the law, but only after it has adjusted the amount,” she said.

“The government has already borrowed 15 trillion dinars to cover the salaries of employees, 10 trillion from home and five billion dollars from abroad,” Shet said.

The Finance Committee announced on Monday that it had agreed to refer the borrowing law to the parliament’s presidency for its first reading.

The Cabinet Secretariat sent the fiscal deficit financing bill to the House of Representatives, which is for internal and external borrowing.

Last month, the government approved the budget bill and sent it to parliament, before withdrawing it again for amendments, to be replaced by the Fiscal Deficit Finance Act to the House of Representatives.

link

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Tishwash:  As oil prices dive, Iraqi Kurds seek to diversify economy

Iraq’s Kurdish region has for decades lived off its oil wealth, but plummeting energy prices amid the pandemic and financial mismanagement are forcing locals to return to long abandoned farms.

Civil servants from the northern region’s bloated public sector have gone without pay and many are now turning back to agriculture and other businesses to make ends meet.

On a rugged hillside some 50 kilometres (30 miles) east of Arbil, the booming regional capital, vineyards are ripe for harvesting as a new source of income.

Abdallah Hassan, 51, a civil servant from the nearby village of Mam Rostam, has returned to harvest the grapes, used to produce raisins and vine leaves, for the first time in almost 20 years.

“There is hardly any work left for us and there are no salaries,” he said, complaining that the regional government now “only pays wages every couple of months”.

“It’s better for farmers to tend to their fields than wait for the payday or for charity.”

Hassan recounted how before the 2003 US invasion that toppled ex-dictator Saddam Hussein’s regime, the Kurdish region had survived on farming during years of painful sanctions.

Since then, in its drive to secure lucrative oil revenues, the autonomous Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) had mostly abandoned agriculture.

Big investments from multinational energy companies have transformed the region, and Arbil has become an urban hub with skyscrapers and luxury hotels.

– Patronage networks –

This year, however, the Covid-19 pandemic and tumbling oil prices have taken a heavy toll, worsened by budget disputes with the central government in Baghdad.

The Iraqi economy, one of the world’s most oil-dependent according to the World Bank, saw its gross domestic product contract by about 10 percent this year.

Mohammed Shukri, chairman of the Kurdistan Board of Investment, said putting all of the regional economy’s eggs into the energy basket had proven costly.

“We’re rich when the oil price is high, and we’re poor when the oil price is low,” he told AFP. “I wouldn’t call this a healthy economy.”

Kurdish economist Bilal Saeed also argued the region’s leaders had made a strategic blunder by letting other sectors fall by the wayside.

“Instead of using that revenue to develop the agriculture, health and tourism sectors, the government of Kurdistan has focused mostly on developing its oil sector and ignored the rest,” he said.

Over-reliance on energy has also had a corrosive effect on Iraq’s state apparatus and fuelled corruption.

A World Bank report this year pointed to Iraq’s “failure to equitably share the benefits of oil wealth” and described a murky patronage system.

“First, the dominant parties use government payrolls to reward political loyalty,” it said. “Second, they use government contracts to enrich business people close to their leaderships. Third, money is simply stolen from the ministerial budgets for both personal gain and party use.”

It is a similar story in the Kurdish region, where lucrative state posts have long been handed out by the two main ruling parties, the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan and the Kurdistan Workers’ Party.

This has created a bloated public sector with over 1.2 million staff, around 40 percent them in the military and security sectors, out of a regional population of five million.

With its budget now bled dry and the KRG facing some $28 billion in debt, it decided in June to slash civil servants’ salaries by 21 percent.

But despite this, it has been unable to pay all of their wages on time, with the outstanding pay, accumulated over years, estimated at $9 billion.

– ‘Hit by cheap imports’ –

Shukri said that despite current woes, his investment board had granted 60 investment licences worth $1.5 billion, mostly in agriculture and manufacturing.

But how many projects will go ahead is uncertain at a time of growing impatience among local entrepreneurs.

Iraqi businesses face tough competition from imports from Iran and Turkey, whose currencies have been devalued while the Iraqi dinar remains indexed to the dollar.

Baarz Rassul, whose company Hend Steel produces 50,000 tonnes of cast steel per month, pleaded for “higher customs duties and better border controls”.

He said when he tried to diversify into agriculture, he found it difficult to compete with cheap imports and has since dismantled his greenhouses.

Saaed, the economist, said Arbil and Baghdad must work out a sustainable economic plan that serves both sides.

But that may be a tall order in the short term as Baghdad grapples with a massive deficit and has given no clear timeline of when it will approve a new budget.   link