Samson: Ports: An Iraqi Traveler From Iran Was Arrested With Possession Of Counterfeit Money
25th December, 2019
Border Ports Authority announced, on Wednesday, the arrest of an Iraqi traveler at the Shalamcheh border crossing in possession of more than seven million Iraqi dinars forged.
The authority said in a statement, which the Independent received a copy of, that “an Iraqi traveler from Iran was arrested, in possession of more than 7 million Iraqi dinars forged, in cooperation with the customs police.”
The authority added, “What was seized according to a fundamentalist record was transferred to the Shalamcheh police station to take the necessary legal measures against it.” LINK
Samson: America is considering reducing its military presence in Iraq to confront “emerging powers”
25th December, 2019
The New York Times revealed a US plan to relocate the military around the world, which begins by reducing the number of troops deployed in West Africa, and also includes Iraq and Afghanistan, with the aim of focusing on confronting emerging powers, such as Russia and China.
The newspaper quoted unnamed Pentagon officials as saying that the plan includes all the forces deployed outside the country, with a strength of about 200,000 soldiers, and it is expected that the first decisions will be issued within its framework early next year. Despite Washington spending about $ 110 million last year to establish a base for drones in Niger, the plan includes withdrawing from it, which could spark internal controversy, according to the newspaper.
Under the move, if it is finally approved, it will end aid to the French forces deployed in Mali, Niger and Burkina Faso, and reduce the number of American forces in the region, estimated at between six and seven thousand soldiers, to a few hundred.
The officials confirmed that the Minister of Defense, Mark Esber, is studying in the same framework reducing the number of troops deployed in the Middle East, by reducing the number in Iraq from five thousand to two thousand and 500, and withdrawing about four thousand out of 12 thousand soldiers in Afghanistan. LINK
Samson: Russia is considering issuing international bonds in a currency other than the dollar in 2020
25th December, 2019
Russian Finance Minister Anton Silwanov said that Russia may issue international bonds in 2020 that will be denominated in a currency other than the US dollar
“Russia sees the possibility of borrowing from foreign markets in 2020 in a different currency from the dollar,” Silvanov told reporters
After its success in international issuance of dollar-denominated bonds in 2019, Russia needs to rethink its foreign borrowing plans after another round of sanctions the United States imposed on Moscow
In August, the United States banned US banks from purchasing sovereign international bonds directly from Russia to punish Moscow for poisoning former Russian spy Sergey Skripal and his daughter in Britain. Moscow has denied any wrongdoing
Konstantin Vishkovsky, head of the state debt department of the Russian Finance Ministry, told Reuters earlier this year that the sanctions, which took effect on August 26, would not nullify the ministry’s plan to borrow from abroad
He added that Russia is likely to keep its foreign borrowing plan for 2020 at $ 3 billion, which is the same level of borrowing in 2019 LINK
Samson: Russia is considering investing part of the National Wealth Fund in gold
Russian Finance Minister Anton Silwanov said that Russia may consider investing part of its national wealth fund in gold, adding that he expects that investment in the precious metal is more sustainable in the long run than financial assets.
Russia is one of the world’s largest gold producers, while its central bank has been the main buyer of the yellow metal in the past few years. The central bank cut its share of assets in US dollars in its reserves, in part due to Western sanctions imposed on Moscow in 2014. Silvanov told reporters on Tuesday that what the Ministry of Finance is currently proposing is that the new investment structure of the fund simulates the structure of foreign exchange reserves for the central bank, and excludes gold. The Ministry of Finance’s National Wealth Fund accumulates revenue from oil exports and was initially earmarked to support the pension system. And its value was 124 billion dollars in the first of December. Gold reserves at the Russian Central Bank amounted to 72.7 million ounces, at a value of $ 105.9 billion in early December.
Usually, Russian gold mining companies sell their production to Russian commercial banks, which resell them to the central bank. “The Ministry of Finance does not propose that the [fund] be invested in precious metals, although one might think and study this …
My view is that gold may be present when investing reserve funds,” Silvanov said. In November, his ministry proposed spending 1 trillion rubles ($ 16 billion) of the National Fund’s wealth to support infrastructure and exports projects between 2020 and 2022 while trying to boost economic growth. The government will be able to use funds from the fund when its liquid assets exceed 7 percent of GDP, something the Ministry of Finance expects will happen in 2020. LINK