TNT – “Tidbits From TNT” Wednesday Morning 11-15-2023


CandyKisses:  National Security arrests the most dangerous speculators and smugglers of foreign currency

Economy News-Baghdad

The National Security Agency announced on Wednesday the arrest of one of the “most dangerous” speculators and smugglers of tens of millions of dollars a day.

The agency said in a statement received by “Economy News”, that “as a continuation of the series of qualitative operations and painful strikes carried out by the National Security Agency against organized crime gangs that seek to sabotage the national economy, and after an intelligence and field effort, we announce the arrest of one of the most dangerous involved in the file of currency smuggling through his management of more than one bank and financial institution.”

“The operation took place in accordance with due process after the accused tried to flee the country,” he said.

The defendant, by owning several banks that have dealings with many exchange companies, controlled the circulation of tens of millions of dollars daily outside the legal context,” he said.

Tishwash:  The dinar begins its “recovery journey” against the dollar

The Iraqi dinar continues to recover against the US dollar in the local markets in light of the continued government measures to close the price difference, as the decline reached the limits of 158 thousand per 100 dollars, at a time when experts expected that this decline is “temporary.”

Yesterday, Tuesday, in a press statement, a government source revealed a package of new measures to address the difference in the exchange rate, including regulating the import process and ensuring the entry of the largest number of merchants and importers to the foreign currency sales window by facilitating account opening procedures, deposit operations, and other procedures related to issuing the importer’s identity. Which will facilitate the “know your customer” requirements for merchants and importers.

He explained that Prime Minister Muhammad Shiaa Al-Sudani directed the activation of a joint committee between the government, the central bank and the private sector, under the supervision of his office, to hold serious discussions with the US Treasury regarding transfers through the foreign currency selling window, and the committee began its meetings from now.

He stated that there are ongoing negotiations between the government and the Central Bank with the Iranian side to regulate trade between the two countries and make the best options regarding payment of dues and amounts, and discussions are taking place at a good pace. 

The source pointed out that the government is holding ongoing discussions with the Central Bank regarding a number of topics, including facilitating procedures related to Iraqi banks importing the dollar (cash).

This process has already begun with some banks importing the dollar, and the process will expand to include other banks, and work is also underway on Proceeding to conclude agreements to supply the currencies of some countries to be provided through banks and banking companies to meet the needs of tourists and pilgrims going to those countries without the dollar currency.

He continued that the government is now working on an “equal deal” project to exchange trade and imports with some countries, such as China and India, and in their own currencies from Iraq’s main trading partners, such as India, China, and some neighboring countries, pointing out that the government is currently studying the establishment of a free zone to import materials and then market them to the private sector and ensure Delivering it to the consumer at competitive prices and in dinars.

The government is also currently studying a re-export project and there are important discussions in this regard. For his part, the economic expert, Diaa Al-Mohsen, attributed the decline in the dollar exchange rates in local markets to the systematic attempt to withdraw the dollar from citizens, while he stressed that the decline is “temporary” and will not continue or come close to the official exchange rate.

Al-Mohsen said in a press statement: There are parties that directly control the price of the dollar in the local markets, indicating that the recent measures and meetings will not lead to reducing the gap between the official and parallel prices.

He continued that the recent meetings that took place in the Emirates were marred by many problems and did not produce accurate results that would work to find solutions to the crisis of the rise in dollar prices, pointing out that the banks of some countries will benefit from the process of bidding farewell to the Iraqi currency, according to him. In turn, Khurshid Othman, professor of economics at Saladin University, confirmed that the decline in the dollar exchange rate in the parallel market is “temporary” and is due to the coordination and cooperation of a group of speculators who control the dollar exchange rate.

Othman expected the dollar exchange rate to continue to decline in the next two days, but pointed out that it would witness a rise again due to the trick of speculators in luring citizens to buy the dollar at low prices and then sell it again. link


Tishwash:  Advisor to the Prime Minister: The government worked in two directions to defend economic stability

 The financial advisor to the Prime Minister, Mazhar Muhammad Salih, confirmed today, Wednesday, that the government worked in two directions to defend economic stability, while noting that the country’s foreign currency reserves are the largest in Iraq’s financial history, and the package to address exchange rates aims to prevent profiteering at the expense of economic stability.

Saleh said to the Iraqi News Agency (INA): “The country’s foreign currency reserve is the largest in Iraq’s financial history and exceeds 100 billion dollars, as it constitutes Iraq’s central reserve portfolio,” indicating that “market demand to finance external exchanges for the private sector is done through these The official reserves displayed by the Monetary Authority through its platform at the official exchange rate of 1,320 dinars per dollar.

He added, “The high commercial efficiency of the country’s foreign currency reserves has its highest standard indicators for a period of more than (fifteen commercial months), while the global standard is about (three months).”

He added, “At a time when the demand for foreign currency is financed through the Central Bank of Iraq platform and bank balances are enhanced in various foreign currencies to finance private sector foreign trade, which constitutes 85% or more of the actual need of the demand for external transfer and in accordance with governance rules and standards.”

Globally, despite this, there is a demand for the cash dollar to finance commercial operations of very specific commodities that do not exceed five commodities, and forces from within the market are trying to purchase them from outside the official commercial mechanisms by resorting to obtaining the cash dollar from the parallel market (which is the market that does not It constitutes only 10% of the demand for foreign currency allocated for travel outside the country to finance its informal trade.

He continued, “These are commercial actions that are not legally recognized by the financial, commercial and banking departments and are carried out for many reasons, including tax or customs evasion or evasion of inspection and quality control procedures.”

He pointed out that “the economic policy in general and the monetary policy in particular have all the economic capabilities to control the noise of the parallel market, which is represented by combating illegal commercial activities above all, as the state currently undertakes the policy of defending economic stability, especially in providing sufficient commodity supply for the goods that… It affects the life of the citizen directly, at moderate prices, financed at an exchange rate of 1,320 dinars per dollar on a permanent basis, and in two directions.

The first: providing additional supportive food and medicine baskets, construction baskets, and high-demand spare parts, and selling them at the official stable exchange rate through the cooperation mechanism between the commercial arm of the state and the national private sector, and

the second: The monetary authority has adopted new mechanisms by providing liquid foreign currencies in addition to the dollar currency (and from a basket of various foreign currencies) to meet travel needs according to the traveler’s destination, especially for Hajj, Umrah, and tourism in its various aspects and for various neighboring and distant countries, in addition to facilitating the use of payment cards with very high flexibility.”

He pointed out that “the policy package aims to contain the noise made by foreign currency speculators in the parallel market in order to profit at the expense of economic stability,” noting that “the basic trends in economic policy are currently being implemented by isolating the effects of the parallel or black market and limiting its illegal activities from stability.” The overall price system in the country   link