TNT – “Tidbits From TNT” Thursday Morning 10-19-2023


Tishwash:  At the parliamentary table…a movement to dismiss the Governor of the Central Bank by majority

A parliamentary movement to remove the Governor of the Central Bank, Ali Al-Alaq, from his position, after the dollar exchange rate crisis worsened and no radical solution was found, while the citizen looks forward to real action to save his livelihood, which is “at stake.” 

The dollar exchange rate witnessed a significant increase, and on some days it recorded a jump against the Iraqi dinar, exceeding the barrier of 164 thousand dinars for every 100 dollars.  

Motion for dismissal by majority

Today, Thursday (October 19, 2023), the Parliamentary Integrity Committee confirms that the movement to dismiss the Governor of the Central Bank, Ali Al-Alaq, from his position is continuing, with a parliamentary majority supporting this movement.

Committee member Hadi Al-Salami told “Baghdad Al-Youm” that “the movement to remove the governor of the Central Bank from his position continues with a parliamentary majority supporting this decision,” noting that “more than one official letter regarding this was sent to the Presidency of the Council of Ministers and Parliament.” 

Al-Salami points out that “political courtesies and pressures are what hinder the decision to remove the governor of the Central Bank from his position, especially since Al-Alaq failed in his management of the bank and the dollar exchange rates are high and unstable. This has greatly affected Iraq’s economic situation, and this is why the dismissal movement will not stop.” 

Fraud and economic levers 

On (September 21, 2023), two independent representatives confirmed that steps were being taken to dismiss the Central Bank Governor due to his lack of control over the exchange rate of the US dollar in local markets. 

Representative Ahmed Majeed said during a joint press conference with Representative Hadi Al-Salami, held in the parliament building, that “the rise in the price of the dollar has harmed all sectors of the state and the Iraqi economy, especially the segment of poor citizens in their livelihood and daily needs.” 

He stressed that “there is forgery in the receipts that are submitted to the Central Bank through the currency selling window to buy the dollar to import goods, and it is in fact an operation to smuggle the currency outside Iraq, and these banks – which buy the dollar – are economic arms of political parties.”   link


Tishwash:  Sudanese Advisor: More than 75% of cash is hoarded by citizens

 Adviser to the Prime Minister for Economic Affairs, Mazhar Muhammad Saleh, said that more than 75% of the cash liquidity is hoarded by citizens, and that raising the interest rate in banks is “inevitable.” The Federal Reserve Bank, the US central bank, had imposed measures and restrictions on remittances. External finance from Iraq, to ensure that it does not reach Tehran and Damascus.

Raising bank interest rates

Mazhar Muhammad Salih said, “The Iraqi environment is complex, but raising the interest rate in banks is one of the monetary policy tools, through the use of raising interest, and it is considered a return, and thus prepares liquidity for the banking system.”

He pointed out that “this measure is inevitable, and it is an indication of the monetary policy interest rate, meaning that banks will lend and borrow at this rate plus the differences,” indicating that “it is assumed that banks will lend at a higher rate, as the interest rate structure will rise slightly to attract deposits and stagnant funds.” a little”.

“Cash leakage is a common phenomenon.”

The Iraqi Prime Minister’s advisor for economic affairs pointed out that “people’s liquidity is not a new phenomenon, and it has been present since the emergence of Iraqi money, and people’s confidence in dealing with banking institutions is usually weak,” adding: “about 20-25% of banks’ liquidity is.” The rest is hoarded by citizens, and it is called cash leakage, which is a common phenomenon in the Iraqi economy.”

Mazhar Muhammad Saleh noted that “despite the passage of these banking and financial developments, this phenomenon will increase rather than decrease, and this percentage will not budge from its historical indicators,” explaining that “about 75-80% of the liquidity remains inside citizens’ homes, and not in the banking system to be completed.” The income cycle turns from savings to investments,” he said, calling this issue a “problem.”

“In the face of a vast banking system and a private banking sector, this percentage should improve and become more, but banking customs and traditions are still weak,” according to Mazhar Muhammad Saleh, who added, “The people’s deposit insurance company is supposed to protect them from any banking failures, and its role is important, and it must announces itself more widely.

Over $100 billion

As for Iraq’s foreign currency reserves, the Iraqi Prime Minister’s advisor for economic affairs said, “Iraq’s financial position in foreign currency is still considered the highest in its history, and the hundred billion dollars supporting the Iraqi dinar has exceeded.”

The Governor of the Central Bank of Iraq, Ali Al-Alaq, announced during the 31st session of the Ministerial Council for the Economy last Monday, raising the interest rate for amounts deposited in banks to 7.5% to encourage citizens to deposit their amounts in banks, and to withdraw the monetary mass outside the banks, while the Ministerial Council for the Iraqi Economy confirmed Study of increasing the interest rate on deposits.

Al-Alaq pointed out that “the exchange rate depends mainly on imports, not on local production, and that the exchange rate in Iraq has peculiarities due to its connection to the price of oil, as it is the largest source of providing hard currency,” explaining that “many factors affect the exchange rate, the most important of which is the leakage The dollar to neighboring countries, and internal dealing in local markets using other than the national currency, as well as the lack of complete control over ports and smuggling.”

Al-Alaq added, “The level of inflation has decreased significantly and that the goods that enter officially are witnessing price stability, because imports are covered by the official price,” pointing to the opening of a special hall for private banks to sell dollars to travelers at Baghdad International Airport, and raising the interest rate for amounts deposited in banks to 7.5% to encourage citizens to deposit their sums in banks, and to withdraw cash from banks.”

In an attempt to control dollar smuggling, the Central Bank issued a number of measures that had no effect in raising the value of the dinar or reducing the large demand for the dollar. The difference between the official exchange rate of 1,320 dinars per dollar and what is sold in the market encourages dollar smuggling networks to Increasing its activity to achieve profits, in addition to the impact of this matter on the daily life of the Iraqi citizen.

A report issued by the International Center for Development Studies, headquartered in the British capital, London, previously warned that the attempts of the Central Bank of Iraq to prevent dollar smuggling have failed, as the price of the dinar continues to decline against the dollar, which exacerbates the suffering of Iraqis and raises the prices of goods.

The report indicated that the Iraqi banking system, instead of being a contributor to the development of the Iraqi economy, has become a major obstacle to growth or attracting investments, in addition to becoming an essential accessory to money smuggling and money laundering networks, as there are a large number of banks that belong to figures close to politicians, parties, and armed militias. It contributes significantly to dollar smuggling and financing foreign trade operations with neighboring countries in exchange for receiving commissions and political support.  link


Tishwash: this is from Iraq’s news

Oil prices fall after easing sanctions on Venezuela

Oil prices fell in trading today, Thursday, after Washington announced the easing of sanctions imposed on Venezuela, especially the oil sector.

US crude futures fell by 0.07% to $88.26 per barrel, while global Brent crude futures fell by 0.31% to $91.22 per barrel.

Yesterday, Wednesday, Washington announced the easing of sanctions imposed on Venezuela in response to the agreement of the government and the opposition in this country to hold presidential elections in 2024.

US Deputy Secretary of the Treasury Brian Nelson said in a statement, “In accordance with US sanctions policy and in response to these democratic developments, the Treasury Department has permitted transactions related to the Venezuelan gas and oil sector, as well as the gold sector.” 

Despite the decline in oil prices, experts believe that the oil sector in Venezuela is dilapidated and in need of billions in investments.   link