KTFA – Some “Tuesday Iraq News” Posted by Clare at KTFA 4-2-2024

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Clare:  Saleh: The 2024 budget schedules are being prepared according to the tripartite budget

4/2/2024

 The financial advisor to the Prime Minister, Mazhar Muhammad Saleh, confirmed that the financial tables for the 2024 budget are being prepared in accordance with the legislation of the three financial budgets.

Saleh told {Al-Furat News} agency, “The proposed financial schedules that are being prepared by the executive authority today are based on the financial legislation in force and approved in accordance with the aforementioned tripartite budget law.”

He stated that “presenting the financial tables for the fiscal year 2024 to obtain parliamentary approval for those tables, which include public revenues and expenditures, undoubtedly embodies a legislative path that we see in all cases as more flexible in the legislative process because the financial principles and constants have become an integral part of the Federal General Budget Law No. 13 of 2023 (the Tripartite), which is the law that was originally legislated by the House of Representatives and by a vote of the legislative authority and published in the Official Gazette last year.”

A few days ago, the Council of Ministers received the budget schedules from the Ministry of Finance, and began working on them to sign them and send them later to the House of Representatives. 

The Parliamentary Finance Committee expects to resolve the budget schedules this month.

From.. Raghad Dahham   LINK

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Clare:  Minister of Finance of the World Bank: We have made plans to accelerate the pace of financial and banking reforms

4/1/2024  Baghdad – INA

Finance Minister, Taif Sami, confirmed today, Monday, the development of plans to accelerate the pace of financial and banking reforms, while the World Bank indicated continued serious and fruitful cooperation with the Iraqi government.

The Ministry of Finance said in a statement received by the Iraqi News Agency (INA): “Minister of Finance, Taif Sami, received today the Regional Director for the Middle East at the World Bank, Jean-Christophe Carré, the Special Representative of the Bank in Iraq, Richard Abdel Nour, and a number of experts and specialists.”

She added, “During the meeting, priorities for development projects and ways to support the World Bank to strengthen the financial and business sectors and improve the investment environment were discussed,” noting, “It was emphasized that continued bilateral coordination to promote sustainable development was discussed, in addition to discussing the Bank’s support for the government program for economic reform in Iraq.” “.

The Minister of Finance referred to the Ministry’s efforts and plans towards accelerating the pace of financial and banking reforms in line with the Iraqi government’s vision aimed at consolidating the foundations of the national economy, creating economic balance, and correcting the course of financial policy in Iraq.

For his part, the bank representative pointed out “the continuation of serious and fruitful cooperation with the Iraqi government, in everything related to providing the necessary support in terms of expertise for development projects and reforms related to the financial and business sector.”   LINK

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Clare:  Iraq’s banking system grows 15.1% in 2023 to $156.7 billion

 March 31, 2024

 Baghdad (IraqiNews.com) – By the end of 2023, the total assets of the Iraqi banking system had grown by 15.1% annually to $156.7 billion. This was mostly driven, according to Rabee Securities, by the 15.3% increase in deposits to $101.9 billion.

The largest contributor to overall deposit growth was current deposits, which increased 17.2% to $82.1 billion and accounted for 80.5% of all deposits in the banking system.

Additionally, the total deposits of the private sector climbed by 14.7% in 2023 to reach $43.2 billion, while the deposits of Iraq’s Central Government increased by 22.7% to $36.1 billion and the deposits of public institutions increased by 6.1% to $22.6 billion.

“As a measure to control the FX flow into the banking system, the CBI now allows a limited number of banks to participate in the CBI foreign currency window and engage in USD transactions,” said Aysegul Ozge Ozgur, Head of Research at Rabee Securities

“National Bank of Iraq, Bank of Baghdad, and Al-Mansour Bank are among these banks that have been permitted to engage in such activities, thus, they are benefiting from an expanded market share in USD transactions,” added Ozgur.

There are 61 commercial banking institutions in Iraq, according to Rabee Securities, made up of 54 private banks (25 non-Islamic and 29 Islamic) and 7 state banks (one Islamic and six non-Islamic).

In terms of Return on Average Equity (ROAE) and Return on Average Assets (ROAA), the National Bank of Iraq, Bank of Baghdad, and Al-Mansour Bank are among the most profitable ISX-listed banks. In 2023, their balance sheets and income statements showed remarkable development.  LINK

Clare:  Launching a new trading indicator

4/2/2024 Baghdad/

The Iraq Stock Exchange and the Securities Commission announced today, Tuesday, the imminent launch of a new index for stock trading.

A statement by the Commission and the Market, received by Iraq Observer, stated that “the Securities Commission and the Iraqi Stock Exchange, after studying, analyzing and measuring the market index of traded stock prices, are preparing to launch a new index that operates under the title ISX15.”

The statement added, “The work and analysis team at the Securities Commission and the Iraqi Stock Exchange focused on measuring the new index and testing it on the experimental environment, and then starting the test on the real environment according to the most important principles, the most important of which is selecting a sample of companies for the best 15 companies in terms of continuing daily trading, as well as choosing the company’s weight.”

Based on the market value of the free float shares, provided that the effect does not exceed 20% at best for a single company as a maximum, and adopting the same prevailing base session for the ISX60 index after adjusting its weight based on the free float shares, as well as other additional variables that will be presented in the index guide.”  LINK

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Clare:  The Central Bank of Iraq clarifies the mechanism for depositing oil revenues abroad

4/2/2024- Baghdad

The Central Bank of Iraq revealed the mechanism for depositing oil revenues abroad, in response to a parliamentary question on the subject.

The document stated that the legal basis for depositing oil revenues in the “IRAQ2” account with the Federal Reserve Bank in New York is the expiration of the extension of Executive Order issued by the US President No. 13303 in 2003, which granted immunity to Iraqi funds deposited in the “DFI” account.

Deputy Governor of the Central Bank, Ammar Hamad, explained that the “IRAQ2” account is used to deposit funds for Iraqi crude oil exports, and they are transferred to the Central Bank of Iraq’s account at the Federal Reserve Bank within 24 hours of receiving them.

He stressed that this mechanism ensures that the funds are not exposed to creditor claims, as they are funds belonging to the Iraqi government derived from the export of crude oil.

He added that a memorandum of understanding was signed between the Iraqi Ministry of Finance and the Central Bank of Iraq in 2014 regulating the work of the “IRAQ2” account, and that this memorandum is the legal basis for establishing the aforementioned account.

He pointed out that the immunity granted in accordance with the memorandum of understanding includes sovereign funds only, and does not include funds used for commercial purposes.

He explained that Iraq’s foreign reserves are deposited with several external parties, including central banks and financial institutions, and are not limited to the Federal Reserve Bank.

He pointed out that the interest rates on these deposits vary according to the investment segment, the duration of the investment, and the institution with which the investment is made.

Finally, he explained that the company transporting the dollar from the Federal Reserve Bank to Baghdad International Airport is Orient, and that the insurance amount for one shipment is 414,000 US dollars, and that the transportation fees are 216,310 US dollars  LINK

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Clare:  Parliamentary Integrity: A five-member committee to recover Iraqi Trade Bank funds owed by individuals and companies

4/2/2024

 The Parliamentary Integrity Committee decided to form a five-member committee to recover the money taken from the Trade Bank of Iraq (TBI).

The Vice-Chairman of the Committee, Alia Nassif, stated in a press statement today, Tuesday, that: “It was decided to form a five-member committee to recover the funds taken from the Trade Bank of Iraq (TBI), and this took place during the hosting of the head of the bank, Bilal Sabah, to coordinate between the Parliamentary Integrity Committee and the bank for the purpose of recovering the funds.”

 Which are owed by individuals and companies, and companies that are late in paying what they owe were reviewed, and it was agreed to coordinate with the judicial authorities with regard to issuing judicial rulings against those who are delinquent in paying, as well as coordination with the Ministry of Justice, especially the two enforcement departments, with regard to accelerating the implementation of judicial rulings on those who are late in paying.”

She added, “It has been agreed to coordinate with the Real Estate Registration Department regarding the sale of mortgaged properties for the purpose of recovering the bank’s money, and it is expected in the coming days to issue judicial orders, ban travel, seize funds, and circulate them to all government departments.”

She explained, “Some individuals and companies that owed money belonging to the bank, which was revealed last week (within the first batch), began paying off the debts after this file was moved by parliament, while the second batch includes an Islamic bank, 8 companies, and one person.”   LINK