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Iraq’s banks refuse to ante up amid liquidity shortage

Private banks in Iraq are facing a liquidity crisis that has led to limiting allowed withdrawals, much to the dissatisfaction of citizens.
Iraqi Finance Minister Hoshiyar Zebari speaks during a news conference in Baghdad July 12, 2015. Iraq and the World Bank signed a $350 million loan agreement on Sunday to fund emergency reconstruction in towns recaptured from Islamic State militants, a deal Baghdad said marked the first international help to rebuild areas devastated by war. REUTERS/Khalid al-Mousily 

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BAGHDAD — Iraq’s private banking sector is having trouble meeting customers’ demands because of liquidity issues, leading to unrest and worry.

Some banks are limiting withdrawals to a specific percentage of deposited funds, while others have stopped allowing them altogether. In addition, even funds originally deposited in US dollars can only be withdrawn in Iraqi dinars, according to the Central Bank’s exchange rate.

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