- Title: IRAQ: U.S.-LED COALITION SAY A NEW CURRENCY WILL BE INTRODUCED IN OCTOBER
- Date: 24th September 2003
- Summary: (W5) BASRA, IRAQ (SEPTEMBER 23, 2003) (REUTERS) 1. VARIOUS OF NEWS CONFERENCE WITH U.S. MAJOR CHARLIE MOORE AND POUL SCHMIDT 0.08 2. (SOUNDBITE)(English) POUL SCHMIDT, SPOKESPERSON, SAYING "It's in progress, it's on trial and beside the seven branches, the seven banks, there will be sites where the currency exchange can take place." 0.20 3. JOURNALIST ASKING QUESTION 0.28 4. (SOUNDBITE)(English) POUL SCHMIDT, SPOKESPERSON, SAYING "It's very urgent to get economic life back where it should be and where it's not been for many many years. It's urgent to create jobs, to invest, to get it started." 0.42 (W5) BAGHDAD, IRAQ (SEPTEMBER 23, 2003) (REUTERS) 5. SLV IRAQI BANKS (4 SHOTS) 1.01 6. SLV MONEY CHANGERS WITH 'SADDAM DINARS', MONEY USED IN MOST OF IRAQ 7. VARIOUS OF 'SWISS DINARS' USED IN THE NORTH OF IRAQ ON A TABLE 8. VARIOUS OF IRAQIS WITH U.S. DOLLARS 2.22 Initials Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
- Embargoed: 9th October 2003 13:00
- Location: BASRA AND BAGHDAD, IRAQ
- Country: Iraq
- Reuters ID: LVAAMUUIT36TVOK7BRDZZUXL5UKA
- Story Text: The US-led coalition in Iraq have said a new
currency will be introduced in October.
The new Iraqi currency, announced at a news
conference in the Iraqi city of Basra on Tuesday (September
23) will be swapped for both the "Saddam dinar", which
circulates in most of the country, and the older, so-called
"Swiss dinar", which is used in the northern Kurdish areas.
The new unit will be exchanged one-for-one with the
Saddam dinar and at a rate of 150 new dinars to one Swiss
"It's in progress, it's on trial and beside the seven
branches, the seven banks, there will be sites where the
currency exchange can take place," spokesperson Poul
Schmidt told journalists at a news conference.
De La Rue, the British banknote-printing company that
originally produced the "Swiss dinars," have been secretly
shipping the new currency into the country in the last few
"It's very urgent to get economic life back where it
should be and where it's not been for many many years.
It's urgent to create jobs, to invest, to get it started."
The new currency is intended to restore monetary
stability to a country long used to having Saddam Hussein's
regime fuel rampant inflation by printing banknotes at
The plan to create a new currency to exchange for
existing ones appears similar to the scheme used after the
collapse of the Taliban regime in Afghanistan.
There, the new currency was swapped for the old Afghan
unit and the informal currencies circulating in areas ruled
by local warlords.
The International Monetary Fund, which also advised on
the Afghan currency regime, has had some of its officials
in Iraq in recent weeks.
The US at one point had plans to manufacture more
"Swiss dinars", a relatively strong currency whose
production predated the Saddam dinar, the original
printing plates for which were also held by De La Rue.
Dollars also circulate widely in the Iraqi economy and
the U.S. imported more dollar bills into the country to
make initial payments to Iraqi workers.
The provisional administration was then forced to
instruct the Iraqi central bank to print more Saddam dinars,
banknotes decorated with a picture of Mr Hussein
after Iraqis complained that the 10,000 dinar notes they
were paid were too large for everyday transactions.
The dinar has lost half its value since Saddam Hussein
fell in April.
The dinar, now trading around 2,000 dinars to the U.S.
dollar, has suffered partly because of the demand for U.S.
dollars triggered by the opening of trade borders and the
suspension of tariffs through the end of the year, he said.
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