New Iraqi banknotes to be introduced mid-October
The US-led Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) in Iraq announced that it will replace aging Iraqi banknotes beginning October 2003 with ‘new Iraqi dinars’.
The new Iraqi banknotes will be introduced on October 15, 2003. The normal Iraqi dinars (print dinars) in circulation in most of Iraq, and the former national dinars (Swiss dinars) in circulation in parts of Northern Iraq, will be replaced for ‘new Iraqi dinars’. One US dollar currently equals about 1,500 Iraqi dinars.
“In close consultation with financial experts from Iraq and the international community, a new series of Iraqi banknotes will be introduced from 15 October. These new notes will address problems like the shortage of 250-dinar notes and the poor quality of the notes in circulation,” a CPA release stated.
The new notes will unify the currency across all of Iraq. Once the exchange of notes has been completed, these notes will be the official banknotes for the entire country. The official conversion rates will be as follows: One normal Iraqi dinar ("print dinar," as used in most of Iraq) will be worth one New Dinar. One former national dinar ("Swiss dinar", as used in some Northern areas) will be worth 150 New Dinars.
Current banknotes—both the print and the Swiss dinar—will continue to be accepted at full value until the exchange has been fully completed. Official exchange locations will be announced before 15 October. These will include branches of the Rasheed and Rafidain banks.
Exchange will be possible over a three-month period, from 15 October to 15 January. All bank accounts will be automatically converted to new notes at the official rate. The new banknotes will look very similar to the former national ("Swiss") dinar notes that were used throughout Iraq until the early 1990's, and are still used in some Northern areas.
International Monetary Fund (IMF) Acting Managing Director Anne Krueger welcomed the plans to introduce a new issue of banknotes in Iraq. Krueger commented that "the availability of an adequate supply of domestic currency, one that is both secure and includes appropriate denominations to facilitate its use by the Iraqi people, represents an important step toward the restoration of economic activity and of a working payments system.“
“Accordingly, we support this initiative and encourage its timely implementation," she added. The IMF is assisting in the process of reconstruction and recovery in Iraq. The initial focus of the IMF's work in Iraq has been technical assistance and advice in the IMF's areas of responsibility, including advice in the monetary area. This work is being carried out in close cooperation with other organizations and donors. — (menareport.com)
© 2003 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)