ISIL rob a bank in Tikrit

The terrorists of the so called Islamic State in Iraq and Levant ISIL stole about seven Billion Iraqi Dinars (about six million US dollars) form a governmental bank in central Tikrit city, the center of Salah-il-Din province, on Wednesday, reportes a security source.

The source added “The gangs of ISIL stormed in the governmental Agricultural Bank of central Tikrit city and stole a cash of about IQD seven billion then they fled to unknown destination.”


The terrorists of the so called Islamic State in Iraq and Levant ISIL stole about seven Billion Iraqi Dinars (about six million US dollars) …

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Iraq Buys $1.56 Bln of Gold, Biggest Purchase in 3 Years

Iraq Buys $1.56 Bln of Gold, Biggest Purchase in 3 Years

The Central Bank of Iraq acquired the metal to help stabilize the Iraqi dinar against foreign currencies, it said in an e-mailed statement.
By Khalid Al-Ansary and Nicholas Larkin Mar 25, 2014 6:08 AM

Iraq bought 36 metric tons of gold this month valued at about $1.56 billion in the largest purchase by a nation in three years.

The Central Bank of Iraq acquired the metal to help stabilize the Iraqi dinar against foreign currencies, it said in an e-mailed statement. The country held about 29.8 tons of bullion as of August, according to data on the International Monetary Fund’s website. The latest addition was the biggest since Mexico bought 78.5 tons in March 2011.

While nations purchased about 544 tons in 2012 in the largest accumulation in about five decades, acquisitions slowed to 369 tons last year, according to the London-based World Gold Council. Countries will continue buying amounts in the “hundreds” of tons, the producer-funded council said in February. Bullion prices rebounded 9.2 percent since December, after slumping the most since 1981 last year as demand for a store of value waned.

“Gold is quite attractive to central bankers,” Mark O’Byrne, a director in Dublin at brokerage GoldCore Ltd., which has more than $200 million in bullion under management, said today by phone. “They see it as an important asset diversification and a safe-haven element within foreign-exchange reserves.”

Gold for immediate delivery traded at $1,316.15 an ounce in London, after sliding 28 percent last year. It reached a record $1,921.15 in September 2011. Prices averaged $1,344.78 so far this month, valuing Iraq’s purchase at about $1.56 billion.

Iraq’s Reserves

Adding the amount Iraq said it bought in March to its reported holding in August would make it the 40th-largest holder by country, according to the WGC. The nation has no plans to sell metal from its reserves, Muneer Omran, director general of investments at the central bank, said in an interview in Dubai in January.

Bullion had accounted for less than 2 percent of the nation’s total reserves, compared with about 70 percent for the U.S. and Germany, the biggest holders.

“Demand from the likes of Iraq is important,” GoldCore’s O’Byrne said. “It doesn’t necessarily mean it will lead to higher gold prices per se, but it definitely means that there’s an ongoing demand from central banks that is likely to continue” and should support prices, he said.

Mexico owns about 123 tons of the metal, according to the WGC. Turkey‘s reserves, at about 488.6 tons now, expanded as much as 44.7 tons in July 2012. Bullion has been added to its balance sheet as a result of accepting gold in its reserve requirements from commercial banks.

Economists Divided Over Deletion Of Zeros on Iraqi Dinar

Economists Divided Over Deletion
Of Zeros on Iraqi Dinar

A customer counts Iraqi dinars at a money changer in Baghdad
A customer counts Iraqi dinars at a money changer in Baghdad, Oct. 1, 2012. (photo by REUTERS/Saad Shalash)
By: Amina al-Dahabi for Al-Monitor Iraq Pulse Posted on October 1.

The Central Bank of Iraq (CBI) has been attempting to delete three zeros from the Iraqi currency since 2003. This project has raised many concerns among the Iraqi public and within the business community, and Iraqi economists are divided. While some support the project and consider it a chance to decrease inflation and unemployment, others warn of economic shocks that may prevail over the Iraqi market as a result of the project’s implementation.

About This Article

Summary :

While the Central Bank of Iraq has been considering deleting three zeros from the currency for several years, economists remained divided over how markets would be affected.

Original Title:
Soon … A New Iraqi Currency
Author: Amina al-Dahabi
Posted on: October 1 2013
Translated by: Joelle El-Khoury

Categories : Originals  Iraq  

Following amendments made by the CBI, implementation of the project has been postponed several times. This is because of fears that are mostly related to the lack of security, the presence of a market open to foreign commodities without any restrictions, the prevalence of counterfeit money in the market and rampant corruption in the country.

The independent Iraqi News Agency (INA) quoted Abdul Hussein al-Yasiri, a member of the Iraqi parliamentary Finance Committee, as saying that 2014 will witness the deletion of zeros from the Iraqi currency. He noted that the deletion will occur in coordination with the CBI, and that as a result of the project, the number of banknotes in circulation will be reduced from 4 billion to 1 billion.

Haider al-Abadi, the head of the Iraqi parliamentary Finance Committee, told Al-Monitor that while deleting zeros from the current currency is possible, this has been postponed until after parliamentary elections. He noted that studies are being carried out to ensure that, following the currency change, counterfeiting is limited and that Iraqis don’t go back to trading in the old currency.

The step to delete zeros from the currency has been postponed several times, leading the parliamentary Economic Committee to demand that the CBI accelerate this project, as Al-Sharqiya reported. In a news conference held July 6, the Economic Committee confirmed that the deletion of zeros will lead to an increase in the value of the Iraqi dinar and will have positive repercussions, including a reduction in unemployment and poverty rates in the country.

Nafee Elias, a financial advisor at the North Bank, told Al-Monitor that the step to delete zeros is merely an administrative process, and the currency equation should remain the same. This means that the purchasing power of the new currency should be equal to that of the old currency. He added that the two currencies should both remain in the market for a period not exceeding three years, then the old currency should be gradually withdrawn. Elias expected problems to arise if debtor-creditor transactions are not set according to the new currency, or there are defects in withdrawal or payment transactions. He added that it is unlikely the change will affect inflation or poverty rates.

Ahmed Faizullah, deputy head of the parliamentary Finance Committee, agreed with Elias. Speaking to Al-Monitor, he noted that the deletion of zeros will not affect the Iraqi dinar’s purchasing power, because the latter is linked to the size of industrial production and imports. He added that the CBI’s hard currency reserves have saved the Iraqi dinar and served as a cover for it. Faizullah called for not applying the project at the moment, because it will confuse Iraqis and disrupt the market.

Amid these views, Enas Mohamed, deputy director at Naseem Al Shemal Brokerage Company, told Al-Monitor that the stock market will be harmed the most by a change of currency and the deletion of zeros. The price of a share is one dinar, so currently 1,000 dinars are equal to 1,000 shares. Following the deletion of zeros, the new dinar will be equal to 1,000 shares, which would further confuse the stock market, which is already muddled as a result of the security situation.

Amina al-Dahabi is a political-economic researcher and reporter trained in the field of oil and energy journalism. She holds a doctorate in American Containment Policy.

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Iraq Central Bank Boosts Gold Reserves

By: Omar al-Shaher for Al-Monitor Iraq Pulse. posted on January 7.

Despite the attention given by Iraqi media to the increase of gold reserves, locals are still oblivious to the repercussions of such an act on their daily affairs.


The monthly statistical report of the International Monetary Fund stated that over the three months between August and October of last year, Iraq’s gold holdings quadrupled to 31 tons, the first time something like this has happened in years. The value of gold as a strategic reserve has grown over the past few years due to the continued instability of the U.S. dollar exchange rate.

International banks perceive gold as having long-lasting value that is not affected by rapid economic development. Gold can be used to compensate for insufficient cash reserves in the wake of political or economic crisis. In that context, Iraq is probably the country that is most in need of a great deal of gold reserves given its succession of political and economic crises.

“Gold is the first shelter for countries in times of crisis,” said the Iraqi economic analyst Majid al-Suwari.

According to Parliamentary Economic and Investment Committee member Abdul Abass Shiyah, “it is normal for the public not to read between the lines of sharp increases in gold reserves.”

“The Iraqi dinar exchange rate is based on the amount of cash reserves, which include not only money but gold as well,” said Shiyah, a member of the Dawlat al-Kanoun parliamentary bloc led by Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.

Gold is the most stable component of official reserves. It will result “in the stability and possibly the improvement of dinar exchange rates,” he added.

Shiyah reiterated that the public will sense indirectly the impact of the increase in gold reserves.

“When the value of imported goods decreases following the increase in the value of the dinar, which directly correlates to the increase of cash reserves, the public will remember the steps the state took to boost gold reserves,” Shiyah added.

The Central Bank of Iraq announced in August of last year that cash reserves had reached $67 billion, which is a first in the country that relies entirely on oil exports to finance its budget.

“The Iraqi reserve is figuratively described as ‘cash,’ but in fact it has multiple components. Iraq owns U.S. dollars, euros, pounds, gold and different types of securities,” said Shiyah.

He added, “The central bank uses a part of its huge reserve to fund major governmental projects. Even though a part of this reserve is disseminated between international banks and benefits Iraq financially, the central bank ought to fund some weighty governmental activities.”

Since 2003, Iraq has had an insignificant cash reserve. Some sources state that those who were in charge of the Iraqi economy during the first months following Saddam Hussein’s toppling converted a ton of gold, which was the only reserve held by the central bank, into cash.

Economic Analyst Majid Suwari said that Iraq’s reserves amounted to $39 billion in 1979; however, Saddam’s policies squandered that fortune. In 2003, Iraq’s debts reached $125 billion.

“The central bank policy is currently based on the diversification of reserves. However, if the policy of purchasing gold had been adopted two years ago when the value of one ounce was about $500 to $600, Iraq would have quadrupled its investment gains,” he added.

He concluded that “this initiative started late, but not too late.” Suwari expects the central bank to pursue the policy of increasing gold reserves amid the government’s spending tendencies.

He clarified that the Iraqi government needs the dinar to cover its huge expenses. The central bank provides it with the necessary Iraqi dinars in exchange for U.S. dollars obtained through the oil trade. Afterwards, the central bank converts dollars to gold.

Omar al-Shaher is a contributor to Al-Monitor’s Iraq Pulse. His writing has appeared in a wide range of publications including France’s Le Monde, the Iraqi Alesbuyia magazine, Egypt’s Al-Ahaly and the Elaph website. He previously worked for Al-Mada covering political and security affairs and as a correspondent for the Kuwaiti Awan newspaper in Baghdad from 2008-2010. 

This article was translated by Steffi Chakti.

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CBI- Saleh indicates project to delete zeros postponed until after 2014

Deputy Governor of the Central Bank  Mohammed Saleh, has stated that the project to replace the currency and delete the zeros has been postponed until after the year 2014.


 Saleh told / Baghdadiya News /  ” the national project has been postponed for the deletion of zeros until after the year 2014 due to the lack of appropriate political atmosphere to accomplish it ,” pointing out that “the Bank completed all the mechanisms and preparations for the start of the project.
The said project needs the support of government and parliament at the same time” and  unless this is achieved during the last period as a result of the presence of well­ founded fear of initiating such a move by some politicians and ministers and advisers in the government and who attributed it to the lack of appropriate political atmosphere to start with.

 Saleh,said that “any delay of the project we need to start before the New Year, because the state of the process or new system  can not work before this time under the law of the Iraqi Central Bank is likely to postpone the project to early 2014 or later”

CBI Postpones Iraqi Currency Redenomination

Posted on 04 October 2012.

CBI Postpones Iraqi Currency RedenominationThe Central Bank of Iraq (CBI) has ruled out deleting the three zeros from the Iraqi currency in 2013 because it needs time and a new fiscal year.The Deputy Chairman of the CBI, Mudhir Mohamed Salih, told AIN on Wednesday:

“The project of crossing out zeros from the Iraqi currency takes time … The Council of Ministers has instructed to take extra time to consider this project.”

According to AIN, Salih denied “The reports over a malfunction that took place while implementing this project in the exchange rate of the Iraqi Dinar against the foreign currencies.”

The report also said that the Council of Ministers decided during its session on 10th April to postpone the deletion of zeros from the Iraqi currency until further notice.

(Source: AIN)

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Iraqi cabinet urges patience before proceeding with Iraqi Dinar redenominatio

July 06, 2012

“The government prefers to be patient before cutting zeros off Iraqi dinar and its redenomination because it is not a priority at the current stage,” Cabinet Secretary Ali Al Allak told Alsumarianews assuring that cabinet is currently studying possibilities and available circumstances for such a procedure.


“We are not sure we can control major money sums’ withdrawal under current circumstances,” Al Allak added calling to be patient because the simple thought of withdrawing, storing and destroying between 30 and 40 trillion dinars requires a serious study.


“There are no defects in our currency especially that many countries deal the same way,” he advanced. Finance committee received, on June 26, the deputy governor of Central Bank of Iraq Mazhar Mohamed Saleh to discuss about procedures related to the zeros cutting off, required time and expected changes following the dinar redenomination.


“During the meeting with Saleh, Iraqi cabinet approved cutting zeros off Iraqi dinar and its redenomination after it had resolved upon taking time before launching the procedure due to Dollar’s increase in comparison with Iraqi dinar in local markets during past months,” finance committee member Najiya Najib told Alsumarianews on July 3.


“Zeros will be cut off Iraqi dinar and the currency will be denominated in January 2013,” Finance Committee member Haitham Al Jabouri advanced on May 15 noting that printing the new currency bills will start in September 2012.(Source)Alsumaria news

Iraq’s oil riches finally being tapped



June 18, 2012 – 9:31 PM


New pipelines stretching into the Persian Gulf near the city of Basra promise to shower Iraq with wealth and turn the nation into one of the world’s biggest oil exporters.

Leighton Offshore, an Australian firm, is installing additional oil-loading buoys to fill tankers with Iraq’s abundant crude.


The country claims to have reserves of 143 billion barrels, the third-largest in the world. In April Iraq exported more than 2.5 million barrels a day, more than at any time since the 1980s, earning its treasury almost $9 billion. Total production is now almost 3 million barrels per day, according to OPEC, the oil producers’ cartel.


More loading buoys are in the works and, as oil firms invest billions of dollars in Iraq, the industry is booming. By the end of the year, reckons Peter Hitchens, an analyst at the bank HSBC, Iraq’s output will reach 3.5 million barrels a day, a torrent of new oil to quench global markets.


Iraq’s production targets are even bolder. Hussein al-Shahristani, deputy prime minister for energy, says that contracts with foreign oil firms should lift output to an outlandish 12 million barrels per day by 2017, a level that would put Iraq on a par with Saudi Arabia, both as an exporter of oil and, if crude prices maintain their recent heights in coming years, as a global spending power.


It is unlikely to get anywhere close to that level. Saudi Arabia spent 80 years building its oil industry amid relative peace and stability. Iraq enjoys neither.


Sectarian violence persists. A series of bombings on June 13 killed more than 80 people. The government of Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki depends on a feeble coalition. Despite years of negotiations, Iraq still has no petroleum law, leaving thorny disputes between the federal government and the regions over the control of oil revenue.


“All of this recent progress has happened against a backdrop of dysfunction,” said Keith Myers, a Revenue Watch Institute consultant working with the Iraqi parliament on the oil law.

Although the country’s crude is cheap to pump, Iraq hardly provides the bonanza that foreign companies such as BP, Lukoil and Royal Dutch Shell hoped for when they signed deals to develop its big fields. Unrest and crime can impede operations. Trucks being used by one company to conduct seismic surveillance recently disappeared overnight.


Graft taints much of the dealmaking. Transparency International, a Berlin-based activist group, ranked Iraq 175th out of 182 countries in its corruption-perceptions index last year.


Apart from the tiny coastline near Basra, Iraq is landlocked. So, aside from the new loading buoys, any increase in export capacity depends on pipelines through neighboring countries. One from Kirkuk to Ceyhan, a Turkish port, could be expanded — but with difficulty.


Other options are even harder. In recent years the governments in Baghdad and Damascus have talked of a new pipeline to Banias, on the Syrian coast, but civil strife in Syria makes that unlikely for the time being. A pipeline to a port in Saudi Arabia was shut down when Iraq invaded Kuwait in 1990. Saudi Arabia now uses it for natural gas and will not free it for a rival’s oil.


Export bottlenecks will keep Iraq’s ambitious production targets a ways off. Hitchens predicts Iraqi output of 7 million barrels per day by the end of the decade — a significant rise, but less than America produces today. At some point Iraq also plans to rejoin OPEC’s quota system, which might further limit exports.


Two other issues have the potential to undermine Iraqi production. Some analysts believe Iran, a rival producer increasingly hit by sanctions, could yet use its sway over Iraq’s Shias to spark more unrest. But would Iraqi Arabs really undermine their own prosperity in order to benefit Persian co-religionists?


Meanwhile Iraq’s autonomous northern province of Kurdistan has signed dozens of oil contracts with foreign companies, outside central government control. The region holds less oil than Iraq’s south, but the production-sharing agreements being offered to investors are far more enticing.


Kurdish leaders believe that, with such big firms involved, they can build their own oil industry. Kurdistan’s regional government has proposed a new pipeline to Turkey, allowing it to bypass the one belonging to the federal government.


This could be seen as a step toward Kurdish secession, however, unraveling federal Iraq and creating yet more sectarian fighting. Turkey may be unwilling to support such a move, not least given its own restive Kurdish population.

© 2011 Star Tribune

Iraq halts plans to cut zeros off dinar currency-cabinet

Thu Apr 12, 2012 3:10pm EDT

* Cabinet says stops plans to redenominate dinar “until further notice”

* Iraq has over 30 trillion Iraqi dinars in circulation

* Plan to trim zeros not seen as a priority

By Aseel Kami – Reuters

BAGHDAD, April 12 (Reuters) – Iraq has decided to hold off on a plan to knock three zeros off the nominal value of bank notes of its currency because it does not believe the economic climate is suitable, the cabinet secretary said on Thursday.

The central bank said last August it planned to redenominate the Iraqi dinar to simplify financial transactions in an economy that is still heavily centralised and dominated by oil, and where deals are often carried out in cash.

The proposal to restructure the dinar to bring more liquidity into the market has been awaiting parliamentary approval since last year.

On Thursday, a statement on the website of the cabinet secretary said the cabinet had decided to halt all procedures relating to the redenomination of the dinar “until further notice”.

“The economic committee discussed this issue and so did cabinet … There is a possibility that it could cause some problems in the economic situation. Besides that, this operation is so big that cabinet sees circumstances are not right to control this,” cabinet secretary Ali al-Alaq told Reuters.

Iraq is slowly getting back on its feet after years of war and sanctions. Oil accounts for 95 percent of government revenues and the country’s banking system is still highly underdeveloped.



The central bank has kept the dinar fixed at 1,170 dinars to the dollar in its daily auction but it recently moved to revalue the dinar slightly to 1,166 dinars after demand for the U.S. currency soared.

The central bank said it also had to tighten regulations over who can participate in the auctions as Iraqi traders sought to snap up dollars for resale in neighbouring Syria and Iran, both under Western economic sanctions.

Sales of dollars in currency auctions held by Iraq’s central bank rose as high as $400 million on some days in December from a previous average of $150 million, according to central bank data.

“We have more than 30 trillion dinars in circulation. To withdraw this amount from the market and then to examine them and to dispose of them is a huge process. Even the technical and the monetary capabilities to control a process like this, we consider as insufficient and it is not seen as a priority currently,” Alaq said.

The central bank says Iraq’s large foreign reserves, which have risen to a record $60 billion on the back of high oil prices, will shield it from any damage to its financial system on the national level.