Iraq's Odious Debts

Iraq to auction $10 million of treasury bills
July 9, 2004

In a bid to establish a bond market and kickstart Iraq’s local capital markets, Iraq’s Finance Ministry intends to auction 150 billion dinars ($103 million) of treasury bills on July 18.

“It’s a way to recover the economy,” Adel Mahdi, Iraq’s finance minister, said.

The T-bill issue will be used to repay outstanding debt issued by the ousted Baath regime. It also aims at bringing funds back into Iraq’s banking sector, much of which would otherwise face bankruptcy.

The minister said he predicted that the T-Bills, which will have a 91-day maturity, will yield between 5 and 8 per cent annual interest.

Iraq’s domestic debt is less than 1 per cent of an external debt the finance minister valued at between 120 billion-130 billion dinars, prior to any debt-forgiveness.

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