- number of readings 119
- Section : Iraq
Baghdad / Obelisk: The Governor of the Central Bank, Mustafa Ghaleb, confirmed, on Saturday, December 18, 2021, that Iraq’s foreign exchange reserves rose to 64 billion dollars from 48 billion dollars since it devalued the dinar about a year ago.
Ghaleb added in a press interview, which was followed by the obelisk, that “the devaluation of the currency helped increase the reserves, and that the Iraqi economy became much better than it was in the middle of the Corona virus pandemic, when oil prices fell and Baghdad was in preliminary talks with the International Monetary Fund to obtain a possible loan.”
Ghalib said: We used to hold meetings twice a day sometimes with the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, but the Iraqi government’s financial situation is much better now.
He continued, “The central bank’s dollar reserves would have fallen to the level of the thirties if we had not increased the dollar exchange rate … The increase in oil prices helped improve the situation as well.”
Ghaleb said he expected “Iraq’s budget for 2022 to be based on an oil price of about $45 a barrel. Iraq, the second largest producer in the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), gets about 95 percent of state revenues from oil sales.”
Ghaleb added that “Iraq currently owes Iran about five billion dollars in value of energy imports, which are necessary for continued operation, but Baghdad abides by US sanctions that prevent it from paying any money to Iran.”
And he indicated, that Iraq “paid some of these energy debts in the form of goods and supplies, as it, for example, purchased $250 million worth of Russian Sputnik’s anti-Corona vaccines, as well as wheat for Iran.”
Ghaleb confirmed, “The validity of reports that Iraq opened an account with the Chinese-backed Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, saying that it had deposited about $100 million in the account to pay potential costs for infrastructure projects in the future.”