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Iraq Economic News and Points to Ponder Thursday AM 2-29-24

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A Specialist Explains In Numbers The “Cash Liquidity” Crisis That Caused A Delay In The Disbursement Of Salaries

Economy |Yesterday, 19:05 |Baghdad today – Baghdad   Today, Wednesday (February 28, 2024), financial affairs expert Nabil Jabbar Al-Tamimi revealed details of the “cash liquidity” crisis that Iraq is going through, which led to a delay in the release of employee salaries.

Al-Tamimi told “Baghdad Today”, “There is a real crisis in cash liquidity, and the Iraqi Ministry of Finance brings money to pay salaries through the Central Bank of Iraq, and the bank brings this money by making transfers (selling dollars).”

He stated,   “There is a limited possibility for the Central Bank of Iraq to make transfers and sell dollars due to American censorship, and  the bank sells approximately (200) million dollars a day, and  this process takes place in a month for approximately (22) days only, meaning it sells approximately (4) billion dollars a month.”

A dollar per month compared to the exchange rate is (5) trillion Iraqi dinars  per year, which is approximately (65) trillion Iraqi dinars, and  this number is only the volume of sales of the Central Bank of Iraq.”

He added,  “In contrast, Iraq’s budget exceeds (200) trillion dinars, and  for this reason there is a crisis in the issue of cash liquidity, and the delay in releasing employee salaries during the past months,  but this crisis is not very severe, and it is not an economic or financial crisis,  but there is a faltering in… Finance is what creates the crisis despite the financial abundance of the dollar, and this is why the Iraqi government is turning to electronic payment so that the process of printing more Iraqi currency does not take place.”

On February 25, the Ministry of Finance denied the lack of sufficient cash liquidity to secure the salaries of state employees and confirmed in a statement,

“Securing the salaries of employees, the social protection network, and the salaries of retirees without delay or delay through its retained cash balances for the previous year and its oil and non-oil revenues.”مختص-يوضح-بالأرقام-ازمة-السيولة-النقدية-التي-تسببت-بتأخير-صرف-الرواتب.html

The Central Bank Announces The Start Of Establishing The National Company For Electronic Payment Systems

Hawraa.m     Today, Wednesday, the Central Bank announced the start of establishing the National Company for Electronic Payment Systems, while confirming the increase in the  volume of deposits in the banking sector to 131 trillion dinars and the     volume of foreign reserves to 148 trillion dinars.

Deputy Governor of the Central Bank, Ammar Khalaf, said in his speech during the opening of the eighth annual exhibition and conference for finance and banking services in Iraq, followed by (Al-Oula News):

“Many challenges that Iraq experienced in the past year and the Central Bank faced them with high responsibility, as it was able through monetary policy tools.”

The various decisions and the right decisions will  achieve its goals set forth in its law, in addition to     achieving the general level of prices through a decrease in the inflation rate, as since the beginning of 2023 the inflation rate has reached 7.5 percent and decreased at the end of the year 2023 to 4 percent.”

He pointed out,  “activating monetary policy tools and raising the price from 4 percent to 7.5 percent, in addition to  issuing various financial tools, including bank transfers and Islamic certificates of deposit instruments,  which were considered an investment opportunity for Islamic and commercial banks operating in Iraq, in addition to   using monetary policy tools.”

Various, including raising the mandatory reserve ratio from 15 percent to 18 percent,” indicating that  “these tools are intended to manage excess liquidity in the Iraqi economy.”

He pointed out that  “last year witnessed clear growth in most monetary changes, including an  increase in the volume of deposits in the banking sector from 129 trillion dinars in 2022 to 131 trillion dinars in 2023, as well as an  increase in private sector deposits in the banking system from 54 trillion dinars to 55 and a half trillion dinars.”

In addition to an   increase in the volume of credit in the banking sector from 60 trillion to 69 trillion in 2023, in addition to an   increase in credit to the private sector from 35 to 40 trillion dinars, in addition to an   increase in the volume of foreign reserves from 140 to 148 trillion dinars.”

He continued,   “The efforts led by the Central Bank of Iraq in cooperation with the government, especially with regard to expanding the use of electronic payment tools, as there was a clear rise and growth in electronic payment tools in Iraq, as the number of POS points of sale increased from 10,000 devices per year.” 2022 to more than 20 thousand machines in 2023. The number of ATM machines also increased from 2,223 machines in 2022 to about 3 thousand machines in 2023.

As for the number of  electronic cards of various types, it reached about 16 million cards in 2022 and 18 million cards. In the year 2023,” noting that

“last year witnessed great cooperation between the government and the Central Bank, especially with regard to enhancing confidence in the national currency through the various decisions issued by the Council of Ministers and the Central Bank.”

He explained,   “There is less use of foreign currency in daily transactions, in contrast,  there is increased reliance on the national currency for local transactions,

in addition to there being cooperation in the issue of  restructuring government banks and      developing private banking institutions to build sound and sound banking institutions.” He stressed,

“The Central Bank of Iraq is focusing on the importance of enhancing compliance with compliance standards for all financial institutions in accordance with local and international standards,” pointing out that  “external transfer operations witnessed great discipline during the past year and a

high response from all banks to facilitate trade financing operations and various external transfers.” Especially after the issuance of external transfer controls at the beginning of last year.”

He added,   “The Central Bank of Iraq was able  to strengthen its banking relations with a large number of Arab and foreign financial and banking institutions   to open wider areas and ensure a high flow of external transfers, especially the use of different channels for external transfers in different currencies other than the dollar or next to the US dollar.”

He pointed out,  “The Central Bank seeks to strengthen banks by increasing the capital of all banks from 250 to 400 billion dinars,” noting that

“One of the most important projects launched by the Central Bank last year and work on it is still ongoing this year is the establishment of a “bank.” “Riyadah” which will be specialized in providing financing for small and medium enterprises, as well as preparing a national strategy for bank lending due to the

importance of the Iraqi economic depth and financial development and the

importance of the role of financing in enhancing production and investment opportunities in Iraq,

in addition to enhancing the role of non-banking financial institutions that support financial and banking stability in Iraq. “By strengthening the role of the Deposit Guarantee Company as well as the Loan Guarantee Company,

in addition to starting to establish the National Company for Electronic Payment Systems, which it is hoped will have a major role in regulating electronic payment operations in Iraq.”البنك-المركزي-يعلن-البدء-بتأسيس-الشرك/

A Movement To List Government Bonds In The Markets

Market  Economy News – Baghdad  On Monday, the Iraqi Securities Commission explained the importance of government bonds, stressing that they provide financial liquidity for investment projects, while indicating that there is a movement from the Central Bank to list government bonds in the markets.

The Chairman of the Authority, Faisal Al-Haims, said in a statement reported by the official news agency and seen by Al-Iqtisad News, that “three issues of government bonds were issued, as the first and second issues were launched, and now there is the third issue.” He pointed out,

“There are requests from the Central Bank of Iraq to list these bonds on the market,” indicating that

“those bonds are debt securities owed by the Iraqi government, in exchange for interest given to the owner of this bond.”

He stressed, “This measure will provide financial liquidity for the investment projects launched by the Prime Minister and his government,” suggesting that  they “will be crowned with goodness and success for the Iraqis.”

Government bonds are a type of debt-based investment, where you lend money to the government in exchange for an agreed interest rate.

Governments use them to raise money that can be spent on infrastructure or new projects, and

investors can use them to obtain set returns that are paid at regular intervals.

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Provoking Points To Ponder on Criticism

Said the pot to die kettle, “Get away, blackface.”- Miguel de Cervantes

Critics are the men who have failed in literature and art.- Benjamin Disraeli

What a blessed thing it is that nature, when she invented, manufactured and patented her audiors, contrived to make critics out of the chips that were left!- Oliver Wendell Holmes

Even the lion has to defend himself against flies.- German proverb

I had rather be hissed for a good verse than applauded for a bad one.- Victor Hugo

Of all the cants which are canted in this canting world – though the cant of hypocrites ihay be the worst – the cant of criticism is the most tormenting.  – Laurence Sterne

As a bankrupt thief turns thief-taker in despair, so an unsuccessful author turns critic.- Percy Bysshe Shelley