Iraqi News Highlights and Points to Ponder Monday AM 11-13-23


Iraqi News Highlights and Points to Ponder Monday AM 11-13-23

Anti-Corruption Commission: Arrest Of Major Figures Involved In Manipulating Exchange Rates

November 13, 2023   Baghdad/Al-Masala Al-Hadath: The head of the supporting team of the Supreme Anti-Corruption Commission, Abu Ali Al-Basri, revealed on Monday that large corruption files had been opened, and that no one would protect those manipulating the dollar exchange rates.

Al-Basri said in a statement followed by Al-Masala, “The Anti-Corruption Committee has large operations in the governorates of Baghdad, Basra, Salah al-Din, and Anbar, as well as other operations in various places.”

He pointed out, “The committee’s work continues against those accused in corruption cases, and it was recently able to arrest 22 people involved in corruption operations,” noting, “The Anti-Corruption Committee is now carrying out major operations, some of which have affected people who had red lines on them.”

Al-Basri pointed out, “The Anti-Corruption Committee will not compliment anyone and has no red lines for anyone,” noting that “some files related to corruption need detailed study, and the committee has opened many files related to previous contracts concluded in state institutions.”

He continued, “The Supreme Anti-Corruption Committee also opened the file of financial inflation and it affected large people,” stressing, “There is coordination with Interpol regarding those wanted in corruption cases, and this includes even dual nationals.”

Al-Basri added, “The competent authorities have moved to a new stage in the file of combating corruption, preserving public money, returning stolen funds, and preventing any new transgression.”

He stated, “The government is serious about combating corruption and has modern treatment methods, including automating state institutions.”

Al-Basri explained, “The Supreme Committee has complete information about speculators at the exchange rate, and it will reach them, and no one will protect them,” pointing out, “Merchants who manipulate the exchange rate will be deprived of obtaining the dollar through the electronic platform at the Central Bank, and there is joint work and effort.” It is carried out by various state agencies, starting with the support team, various agencies, the judiciary, and the Integrity Commission.”

He stated, “There is a major campaign to monitor the market and illicit sales, and the supporting agency was able to arrest major figures who were involved,” noting, “The process of obtaining the dollar and foreign trade has exceeded 90% through the electronic platform and that things are moving in the right direction.”

He stressed that “the state provides great support for many goods and also provides many facilities to merchants,” explaining that “the inflation index has decreased in Iraq compared to many countries, including neighboring countries.”

Iraq Plans To “Neglect The US Dollar” And Parliament Proposes “Diversifying Foreign Currency Baskets”

Baghdad today – Baghdad   The House of Representatives Finance Committee said today, Monday (November 13, 2023), that there is a necessary and important need to diversify the basket of foreign currencies in Iraq and not rely on the US dollar in commercial transactions.

Committee member Moin Al-Kazemi told “Baghdad Today” that “the basket of foreign currencies in Iraq must be diversified and not relied on the dollar in commercial transactions, whether external or even internal, as this reduces American dominance over the Iraqi economy.”

He added, “The Iraqi economic ground is ready and prepared to strengthen banks in various foreign currencies and not be limited to the US dollar, and there is a real trend by the monetary authority in this matter, and the coming days will witness various commercial transactions through the UAE dirham as well as the Chinese yuan and other currencies, and this will reduce demand.” On the dollar, and it will have an impact on reducing the dollar exchange rate in the parallel market.”

Last Saturday (November 11, 2023), a government source in Iraq said that officials from the Central Bank of Iraq held “intensive meetings” with American officials in Abu Dhabi in recent days to discuss external transfers to cover imports.

The source added, according to what was reported by the “official agency,” that “Iraq has strengthened its assets denominated in the yuan through the Singapore Development Bank to finance Iraqi trade and imports with China by about 12 billion dollars annually.”

The source stated that the oil-exporting country also moved to strengthen its assets in UAE dirhams and is negotiating to increase its assets denominated in euros to finance trade with the European Union, according to what was reported by Iraqi news agency “Inaa.”

The source added that negotiations with the American side reached a set of decisions and mechanisms that contribute to facilitating procedures for foreign transfers related to imports through the foreign currency sales window.

He added, “It was agreed to enhance the advance balance of five Iraqi banks in their dollar accounts with Jordanian banks and transfers via JP Morgan Bank,” noting that “the problems related to the rejected transfers were resolved, and it was agreed that the rejection of transfers should be based on strong reasons.”

He continued: “There were also other meetings that brought together one of the Emirati banks, the Central Bank of Iraq, and the American side, to implement the mechanism for enhancing balances in the Emirati dirham for Iraqi banks,” indicating that “things are going well in this aspect, as all technical details related to the issue have been resolved, and it is expected to begin.” The mechanism for enhancing balances in UAE dirhams during the next few days.”

He stressed that “there are serious negotiations that have reached their final stages to enhance the balances of some Iraqi banks in euros with UBAF Bank to finance trade with the European Union,” noting “an increase in the number of banks whose balances in Chinese yuan are being enhanced through the Singapore Development Bank.”

The source also reported that bank accounts had begun to be opened in Indian rupees for a number of Iraqi banks at the same correspondent, the Singapore Development Bank (New Delhi branch), and operations to enhance the balance of two Iraqi banks had actually taken place as a first stage, and it is expected that this mechanism will contribute to financing Iraq’s imports from India, especially medicines and materials. Food, which is estimated at about $3 billion.  LINK

An Economist “Limits” The Solution To The Exchange Rate Problem To One Condition: It Will Not Be Solved Without It

Baghdad today – Baghdad   Economist Nabil Al-Marsoumi confirmed in a blog post on Facebook, followed by “Baghdad Today”, today, Sunday (November 12, 2023), that the exchange rate crisis in Iraq cannot be solved without solving the problem of financing trade with Iran.

While exchange rates continue to rise by about (30 points) at least from the official rate decided by the Central Bank, which decided to raise the value of the official exchange rate of the dinar against the dollar by 10 percent in a measure aimed at reducing the decline in the value of the currency that accompanied the adoption of more regulations. Strictness regarding financial transfers outside the country.

The government then agreed to the Central Bank’s proposal to raise the value of the exchange rate from about 1,470 dinars to 1,300 dinars per dollar, which had a clear impact on the exchange market at that time by reducing prices that reached the level of 1,700 dinars in the parallel market.

Earlier, an Iranian official revealed that Baghdad was moving to propose dealing with Tehran in exchanges in the Iraqi dinar instead of the dollar or other foreign currencies.

The commercial advisor to the Iranian embassy in Iraq, Abdul Amir Rabihawi, said at the meeting of the Joint Iranian-Iraqi Chamber, which was held early last July, that this proposal would be in Iran’s interest, especially in view of “the sanctions on Tehran,” noting that this means implementing all exchanges between men. Business in dinars instead of dollars.

Economists believe that “making an exchange with the Iraqi dinar instead of the dollar supports the Iraqi national currency, and that this matter may also have a political message from Tehran to the United States, that dealing in the dollar can be easily abandoned, and it may involve risks that the Iraqi dinar will be exchanged by Iranians at weak prices lead to a collapse in the exchange rate of the Iraqi national currency against other currencies.

Also, “the idea of using local currencies in trade exchange between Iraq and Iran was an idea put forward by the Federal Reserve in its meetings with officials, and it is applicable despite its difficulty, and it is closely related to Iraqi payments related to the import of electricity and gas, as it was proposed that they be placed” in an account in the bank. The Central Bank of Iraq, to be used to finance purchases and imports related to the humanitarian aspect that Iran is allowed to import, but the trade balance between Iraq and Iran tends in favor of Tehran at about 10 billion dollars annually.

Despite the measures taken by the government to prevent currency speculation, experts and specialists confirmed that “the solutions did not address the structural defect in the economy, as the commercial sector was not reorganized, and the banking system did not fully comply with international standards and the Federal Reserve Bank (the US central bank) in transfer operations.” which is conducted daily.

Also, “the levels of transfers that take place daily are still high and not commensurate with the size of the Iraqi economy, which exceed 200 to 300 million dollars on some days.”

On the other hand, “some merchants are complaining about the delay in executing their financial transfers, which has resulted in financial burdens, which the Central Bank’s procedures have not addressed. Therefore, many of them have returned to buying dollars from parallel markets, even if they are at prices more expensive than the banks.”

Iraqi banks must now manage these transfers through the “SWIFT” electronic platform, which is synonymous with more stringent monitoring of transactions, especially by the US Federal Reserve, which rejects any transfer deemed suspicious.

Iraqi banks must currently register “their dollar transfers on an electronic platform, which checks the requests… and the Federal Reserve examines them, and if it has doubts, it stops the transfer.”

With the beginning of the implementation of the electronic system, the Federal Reserve rejected 80 percent of requests for financial transfers to Iraqi banks against the backdrop of doubts related to the final destination of those amounts being transferred.

Source: Baghdad Al-Youm + Agencies   LINK

A Representative Talks About Several Reasons Behind The Dollar Crisis And Identifies The “Most Dangerous” Of Them.

Baghdad today – Baghdad   Today, Sunday (November 12, 2023), the representative in the Iraqi Parliament, Muhammad Al-Baldawi, considered that there are several reasons behind the dollar crisis in Iraq, but the most prominent of them is the American prevention of financing the Central Bank of Iraq with all its dollar needs.

Al-Baldawi said in an interview with “Baghdad Today” that “the rise in the dollar exchange rate in the parallel market has multiple dimensions, but the most important reason for it is America’s deliberate failure to disburse Iraq’s dollar dues and deliberately delaying them. That is, we are facing direct intervention by Washington in a financial file accompanied by threats.” Imposing sanctions on the central bank.

He added, “All that is happening are means of pressure adopted by the White House towards Iraq in order to achieve several goals, the most prominent of which is making Baghdad a prisoner of its plans in the region.”

He pointed out that “America must realize that what it does in Iraq and other countries will ultimately reflect on it, and trying to exploit the economic dimension to harm countries will not achieve anything, especially since world opinion has become dissatisfied with its positions, especially in the recent Gaza events, which provided a cover for the Zionist entity to exterminate an entire people.” With American-made missiles.

In contrast to this opinion, the Central Bank administration reiterates from time to time that the dollar is available and there is no shortage of it, and that what is happening is the presence of suspicious trades and operations to obtain the dollar and smuggle it to other countries.

The Central Bank confirms that it is able to meet all “transparent and legitimate” requests for the dollar, whether for import or cash requests, provided that they are legitimate and reveal the ultimate beneficiary to whom this dollar will reach.

However, observers believe that this is relatively inconsistent with the recent trend of the Central Bank to allow banks to import foreign currency from abroad, meaning that it suggests that the Central Bank is facing difficulty in obtaining dollars from the US Federal Bank.   LINK

Al-Sudani And Zidane Discuss The Judiciary’s Efforts To Hold Foreign Currency Speculators Accountable

Political | Baghdad – Mawazine News   Prime Minister Muhammad Shiaa Al-Sudani discussed with the Chairman of the Supreme Judicial Council, Faiq Zaidan, the efforts made by the Iraqi judiciary in holding accountable those who manipulate the people’s livelihood and foreign currency speculators.

The Prime Minister’s Media Office stated in a statement received by Mawazine News, that “Prime Minister Muhammad Shiaa Al-Sudani met this Sunday evening with the President of the Supreme Judicial Council, Faiq Zaidan, and during the meeting, a number of files and judicial procedures taken for the sake of sovereignty were discussed.” law and enhancing security and stability in the country.”

He added, “The two sides also discussed the importance of strengthening the efforts made by the Iraqi judiciary in holding accountable those who manipulate the people’s livelihood and foreign currency speculators, with the aim of destabilizing the market, affecting the living conditions of citizens, and disrupting government plans to achieve economic and financial reform.”


Provoking Points To Ponder:

Disappointment to a noble soul is what cold water is to burning metal; it strengthens, tempers, intensifies, but never destroys it — Eliza Tabor

Man must be disappointed with the lesser  things of life before he can comprehend the full value of the greater — Edward G  Bulwer-Lytton

Doubt — There are two ways to slide easily through life: to believe everything or to doubt everything; both ways save us from thinking — Alfred Korzybski