Iraqi premier sacks chief bankers amid currency depreciation
ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammad Shia’ Al-Sudani on Monday sacked the country’ Governor of the Central Bank and head of Trade Bank of Iraq (TBI) amid ongoing depreciation of the Iraqi dinar, state media reported.
Al-Sudani replaced Mustafa Ghalib, the current CBI chief with Ali Mohsen Al-Alaq, who presided over the key institution for seven years.
Salem Chalabi of the TBI, chairing the bank since 2020, was “retired”, the state media reported.
Bilal Hamdani has been tasked to manage the bank, it added.
The decision comes as the Iraqi currency has been depreciating since November against the U.S. dollar, as measures have been tightened on international dollar transfers.
Although the official exchange rate has been fixed at 1,470 dinars against the US dollar, the local currency was trading up to 1,600 to the greenback on local markets.
The instability in the value of the exchange rate has caused a public outcry, fearing the volatility will drive prices of commodities up, in an economy heavily dependent on imports.
However, economists argue the currency depreciation is due to the tightening measures on international transfers, some accuse Washington, particularly those backed by Iran, to have played a role in the roller coaster.