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Iraq central bank under “currency attack”

Khalid Al-Ansary and Nayla Razzouk report for Bloomberg:

Iraq’s central bank said it’s under a “currency attack” as traders buy U.S. dollars in daily auctions and resell them on the black market in Syria and Iran, which face hard currency shortages due to sanctions.

Demand for the greenback at the central bank auctions has risen since November to about $200 million to $300 million a day, compared with about $160 million in the prior 12 months, the deputy central bank governor, Mudher Salih, said in an interview in Baghdad Jan. 10.

“Now we are checking the applications to buy dollars from the auctions more closely. We are afraid that some of it may be related to money laundering,” Salih said. “We are now under a currency attack because of the regional situation.”

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