Iraq’s foreign currency reserves reach highest since 2003

A man counts wads of U.S. dollars on a money counting machine at a currency exchange shop in Kerbala, 80 km (50 miles) southwest of Baghdad November 24, 2008. REUTERS/Mushtaq Muhammed (IRAQ)

SULAIMANI (ESTA) — Iraq’s Central Bank on Sunday said that the country’s foreign currency reserves reached $85 billion, $5 billion soared since August, also adding that it is the highest since 2003. 

Last month, the reserves stood at $80 billion and are expected to hit $90 billion by the end of the year, the bank’s deputy governor, Ammar Khalaf, said.

“The central bank’s gold reserves have climbed 30 tonnes to stand at more than 131 tonnes now,” Khalaf said in August.

Iraqi central bank on January 19 announced that the total foreign currency reserves increased significantly at the end of 2021.

The rampant is due to the diversified investments and management following monetary policy based on best international practices free from risks.

Iraq oil-reach country witnessing a sudden increase in foreign currency reserves since the Russian invasion of Ukraine, soaring oil prices to a record above 130$ per barrel of Brent.

Almost one year ago the country’s foreign currency reserves were estimated at $64 billion.

The devaluation of Iraqi Dinars vs the U.S. dollar in late 2020 was also a major contributing factor and helped bring the reserves up, according to a governor in the Iraqi central bank.

The Iraqi Central Bank was sat the exchange rate of the Iraqi dinar at 1,470 dinars per dollar late in 2020, aiming to help cover the financial deficit which was estimated at 58 trillion dinars ($48.698 billion). While the exchange rate in 2019 was 1,200 dinars per dollar.

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