The job number “exposes” more than 3,000 “dual” employees in Najaf… and the governor is taking action
Baghdad today – Najaf
Today, Friday (October 20, 2023), the Governor of Najaf, Majid Al-Waeli, directed the suspension of the salaries of 3,363 double-salary employees in the governorate.
The governor’s media office stated in a statement received by “Baghdad Today” that “Governor Majid Al-Waeli announces the suspension of the salaries of 3,363 employees due to double salaries after activating the job number.”
He added, “250 employees had their salaries suspended on June 12 of last year, 2022. ”
Iraq to charge Customs Duties/Taxes “Exclusively in Iraqi Dinars”
By John Lee.
The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) has said that customs duties and taxes at border crossings will now be levied exclusively in Iraqi dinars instead of US dollars.
According to Decree No. 227 of the Council of Ministers, dated September 20, 2023, customs duties and taxes at border crossings will now be exclusively levied in Iraqi dinar instead of US dollars. Non-compliance with this new regulation will result in penalties.
This decree, issued in accordance with Article 8 of the Kurdistan Regional’s Council of Ministers Law (amended No. 3 of 1992) and based on the recommendation of the Minister of Finance and Economy, establishes the sole use of Iraqi dinar for customs duties and taxes at border crossings.
Furthermore, the decree underscores that all ministries and relevant government institutions are required to adhere to this regulation, with violations at border crossings subject to punishment.
(Source: Ministry of Oil)
Trenches dug… American forces tighten their procedures at the “Harir Base” in Erbil
Baghdad today – Erbil
A security source revealed today, Friday (October 20, 2023), that the American forces stationed at the Harir base in Erbil have taken strict security measures.
The source said in an interview with “Baghdad Today”, “The American forces have taken the highest levels of caution and there are trenches being dug inside the base for fear of new attacks targeting the base after targeting the Ain al-Asad base in Anbar Governorate.”
He added, “The American Consulate has also taken strict precautionary measures, and there is a deployment of reconnaissance aircraft on the outskirts of Erbil.”
Yesterday, Thursday (October 19, 2023), the US Department of Defense (the Pentagon) confirmed the death of a contractor targeting the Ain al-Assad base in western Iraq.
Earlier, a security source said in an interview with “Baghdad Today”, that “shelling with Grad missiles (from 3-4), targeted the base of Ain al-Assad west of Anbar,” indicating that “a force from the command of the island forces and the Badia / Brigade 29 in the seventh division, found a rocket launcher, and was able to neutralize two missiles that were intended to launch.”
The Chinese sell the largest amount of US stocks and bonds in four years
Chinese investors sold the largest amount of US stocks and bonds in four years in August, raising speculation that Beijing had taken a step to give itself greater leverage in its defense of its weak renminbi currency.
About $15 billion of the total net sales of $21.2 billion came from the disposal of U.S. Treasuries, according to data from the U.S. Treasury Department, which tracks trades made by investors such as China’s central bank, mutual funds and retail investors.
Stock sales totaled about $5 billion — a record for monthly sales of US stocks by Chinese investors — while investors also sold agency bonds, that is, those issued by government-linked companies.
The rise in US securities sales coincided with efforts by Beijing to intensify its defense of the renminbi exchange rate against the dollar, which has come under pressure from slowing economic growth and capital outflows.
“There is market speculation that this reflects China divesting from US Treasuries in order to increase its reserves to defend the renminbi,” said Stephen Innes, managing partner at SPI Asset Management.
The yuan fell by 5.7 percent against the dollar this year, as the widening interest rate differential between Chinese and American debt prompted foreign investors to withdraw money from the country’s bond market.
Slowing economic growth and a liquidity crisis in the real estate sector also raised concerns about capital flight and increased downward pressure on the currency.
Investors grew increasingly concerned in August about how well China’s central bank could defend the renminbi without further declines.
However, Innes said it had since been more successful in easing downward pressure by setting the currency’s trading range higher than investors’ expectations and having government lenders intervene in the market on its behalf.
“We don’t know for sure what’s happening at the central bank, but we can assume it’s probably a combination of factors,” Innes said, adding that the People’s Bank of China’s foreign reserves have remained stable in recent months.
But although there is no direct confirmation of what prompted Chinese investors to sell US securities in August, analysts said the timing of the sales was in line with the floor of the renminbi-dollar exchange rate.
“In August, we started to see a change in policy from the People’s Bank of China,” said Ken Cheung, chief Asian foreign exchange strategist at Mizuho Bank. “That was when they started putting foreign exchange stability at the top of the monetary policy agenda thanks to money outflow pressures.”
The selling also came before US government bonds fell over the past two months, sending the 10-year US Treasury yield to its highest level since the early stages of the global financial crisis. link
Source: Dinar Recaps
Vietnam enhances positions in global value chain | Business | Vietnam+ (10/20/23)
The attraction of large foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows from the US and Europe, especially into industries with high added value such as manufacturing, technology and pharmaceuticals, is a positive signal about Vietnam’s economic development and international cooperation as well as the country’s efforts in improving its position on the global value chain, according to Savills Vietnam experts.
Statistics from Savills Vietnam, a property consultancy firm, showed that there were 2,508 FDI projects of EU countries in Vietnam as of June, with total registered capital of 28.91 billion USD. The figure represents a significant increase compared to 18 billion USD in 1,623 projects in 2016.
The Q3 Business Confidence Index (BCI) report of the European Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam (EuroCham) released in mid-October showed that more than two years after its implementation, the European Union -Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) is continuing to have a positive impact on Vietnam’s business landscape. More than 60% of businesses think the deal is beneficial, with the top benefit being tax cuts, followed by improved competitiveness, reduced trade barriers, and expanded partnerships with local firms and increased access to the Vietnamese market.
As for the US market, the recent visit of President Joe Biden along with upgrading their comprehensive cooperative relationship, the interest of investors in this market is expected to increase in the coming time.
According to John Campbell, manager of Industrial Services at Savills Vietnam, although this event only took place about a month ago and will take time to see clear impacts, many US investors have shown their interest in projects in Vietnam.
A Savills Vietnam’s research pointed out that in 2016-2022 period, a sudden increase in the export of electronics and phone reflects an improvement in Vietnam’s position in the global value chain. Specifically, in the period, the export value of electronic, phones and machinery products increased by 193%, 68% and 336% respectively.
Vietnam is focusing on attracting high value-added investments by improving its workforce and infrastructure while creating favourable conditions for small and medium-sized enterprises and support industries, Campbell said, adding that these efforts have been recognised by many large investors and Vietnam have been included in their future development plans.
Vietnam’s BCI in the third quarter of 2023 has increased to 45.1% from 43.5% in the second quarter of this year, according to EuroCham.
The country’s global investment attractiveness remains strong, with 63% of surveyed businesses ranking the country in the top 10 FDI destinations, it said. In particular, 31% ranked Vietnam in the top three investment locations.
EuroCham Chairman Gabor Fluit, however, said that while promising Q3 GDP and FDI growth is seen, issues persist – especially with exports and real estate.
He went on to say that addressing administrative burdens, unclear regulations, and permitting hurdles is crucial to achieving progress.
Campbell suggested that to attract world-leading large companies, it is necessary for industrial park developers in Vietnam to focus on value-added services and incentives in addition to price and rentals such as market entry services, human resources and legal support, management services, sustainability initiatives and working with professional industrial real estate agencies.
Zimbabwe’s Plan to Drop US Dollar in 2025 Seen as Non-Starter | Bloomberg (10/19/23)
The US dollar will remain the dominant currency in Zimbabwe even after the government’s December 2025 deadline to stop its use in the economy, the country’s largest independent asset manager said.
Imara Asset Management, which oversees more than $100 million, said the dollarization of the economy is actually accelerating since authorities curbed the local currency’s availability in July to preserve its value. Data from the national statistics agency showed 80% of all economic transactions in Zimbabwe are now done in the greenback, up from 75% earlier this year.
“We are making the bold assumption that the US dollar will remain in place for a good while yet,” wrote John Legat and Shelton Sibanda, the company’s chief executive officer and chief investment officer, wrote in a quarterly note to clients Thursday. “The loss of the use of the US dollar would be a disaster for the economy.”
The Zimbabwe dollar has had a rocky history. The southern African nation abandoned it in 2009 when hyperinflation set in, and turned to the US dollar as the main medium of exchange. The currency was reintroduced in June 2019, outlawing all other legal tenders including the greenback. But again, that policy policy was reversed in April 2020 following the onset of the coronavirus pandemic. The government currently plans to allow the use of the US dollar until December 2025 and no more.
The uncertainty over the next currency regime has forced banks to be cautious on lending beyond 2025. That’s raised borrowing costs for businesses and individuals and also curtailed the availability of funding for long-term investments. Previously, US dollar loans from banks were paid off in the local currency, with lenders suffering losses from the foreign-exchange volatility.
Banks and citizens want a stable currency that stores the value of their money and a stable environment must be created in the medium to long-term, according to Lawrence Nyazema, president of the Bankers Association of Zimbabwe.
“There is nothing wrong with using a mono-currency,” as long as the local unit is stable, said Nyazema. “The use of multi-currencies beyond December 2025 imply that banks can continue lending in the same currencies beyond the period.”
Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube said last week that authorities were “mulling over” the next steps on the currency policy. “We will not do things in a manner that will jeopardize the growth that we have seen so far,” said Ncube.
Zimbabwe’s President Emmerson Mnangagwa has fiercely defended a return to the sole use of the Zimbabwe dollar.
Meanwhile, Imara also cast doubt on the gold-backed digital money, the so-called “ZiG” launched earlier this month. It said there is no proof that the ZiG is either backed by any physical gold or can be converted into gold and is largely a “project” of the central bank.
“Whether the ministry of finance also supports the concept is still relatively unknown,” the Harare-based brokerage said.
Source: Dinar Recaps
Deputy: 45 countries expressed their desire to cooperate with Iraq in the way of development
Baghdad – Iraq Today:
MP Baqir al-Saadi said Friday that the development road project has attracted the interest of 45 countries so far.
Al-Saadi said in a press interview that “the development road project is still enjoying increasing international interaction day by day, especially since all studies indicate its success in economic terms, and will develop in 5 important directions in the field of changing the route of international transport from Southeast Asia towards Europe.”
He added that “45 countries are interested in the development road project, and some of them have officially announced their intention to invest directly through the implementation of projects in the first phase,” noting that “the investments of this project will lead to the establishment of 10 new cities on the route from Basra to the border with Turkey.”
“The project will mark the beginning of changing the face of the entire region in terms of economic activity and the development of land routes that annually transport hundreds of billions of dollars worth of goods,” he said.
With a surprise visit…the Iraqi Defense Minister arrives at Ain al-Asad Air Base
An informed source reported, on Friday, that Defense Minister Thabet Al-Abbasi arrived at Ain Al-Assad Air Base to monitor the security situation and inspect the units in Anbar Governorate, west of the country.
A security source told Shafaq News Agency that this visit is a surprise and comes after the missile attack on the military base.
On Thursday, a security source reported that the Ain al-Assad base in western Iraq was targeted with a number of missiles.
The source told Shafaq News Agency: The base was targeted by an unknown number of Krad-type missiles.
The source added: A force from the Al-Jazeera and Badia Command, 29th Brigade, 7th Division found a missile launching pad, and were able to neutralize two missiles that were prepared for launch.
Yesterday, Thursday, the “Islamic Resistance in Iraq”, which includes armed Shiite factions, claimed responsibility for the attack on the “Al-Tanf” military base of the international coalition against ISIS in Iraq and Syria.
The resistance said in a statement that it targeted the base on Thursday morning with three drones, noting that those drones hit their targets directly and accurately.
And Thursday; A US Department of Defense official suggested that there will be an escalation in march attacks against coalition forces in Iraq and Syria linked to the war between Israel and Hamas. link
Source: Dinar Recaps
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