Central Bank of Iraq returns to Kirkuk

Kirkuk, March 9, 2022: a shop selling vegetables and fruits in Khan Tamir (Dates’) bazaar. Karwan Salihi

By KirkukNow

The Central Bank of Iraq asked exchange and money transfer companies operating in Kirkuk to submit requests to resume their dealings with the Central Bank, eight years after the bank suspended all its dealings with these companies.

The letter addressed by the Central Bank CBI to the financial companies in Kirkuk was issued on April 13, and the approval came after continuous demands from those companies.

The CBI stressed the need for these companies to confirm their desire to resume their dealings with the Central Bank as soon as possible with regard to trading in US dollars.

Nariman Nasradin, owner of an exchange company in Kirkuk, told KirkukNow, "Since 2015, we have been asking the Central Bank to do so constantly, but the bank expressed its approval after eight years due to the repercussions of the ISIS war and the Central Bank's fear of targeting the cash amount traded with companies operating in Kirkuk.”

The Central Bank of Iraq sells US dollars to exchange companies at 146,00 dinars for every 100 dollars while it is trader for 147,500 IQD in the stock exchange market.

"From now on, things will return to what they were before the emergence of ISIS, we will be able to deal with the central bank and the dollar will reach Kirkuk at the rate set by the central bank," Nasradin explained.

things will return to what they were before the emergence of ISIS

On the importance of this step and its impact on the living situation of citizens, Nasradin said, "Compared to the past, the currency exchange rate will decrease by one thousand dinars for each banknote of 100 dollars, and this will be in the interest of citizens and all parties, because they will be able to obtain the dollar at a lower price."

"We will also benefit from the Central Bank, like the rest of the governorates. We will not have to resort to other provinces in order to buy dollars, which was increasing costs for us and the citizens."

The northern oil-rich city of Kirkuk, located 238 kilometers north of Baghdad, is an ethnically mixed province for 1.7 million Kurds, Sunni and Shiite Arabs, and Turkmen. It has long been at the center of disputed territories between Baghdad and Erbil.

Currently, Iraqi army, local and federal police, Special Forces along with Shiite paramilitary of Popular Mobilization Forces PMF, undertake the security of Kirkuk province and the disputed territories. 

The extremist militants of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria could not control Kirkuk yet they ruled the district of Hawija southwest of Kirkuk, home to 300,000 residnets, for three years from 2014 throughout 2017.

The Central Bank of Iraq is the national bank of Iraq. It was established in 1947, the same year in which the British occupation of Iraq was ended. CBI's primary objectives are to ensure USD-IQD domestic price stability and foster a stable competitive market based financial system.

During the battle of Mosul in June 2014, reports indicated that ISIS militants looted the Central Bank in Mosul, absconding with over US$429 million.


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