Central Bank of Iraq

Central Bank of Iraq
Central Bank of Iraq
البنك المركزي العراقي
The Central Bank of Iraq, guarded by U.S. troops in June 2003.
The Central Bank of Iraq, guarded by U.S. troops in June 2003.
Headquarters Baghdad, Iraq
Established 1947
Chairman Sinan Al-Shabibi
Central bank of Iraq
Currency Iraqi Dinar
Website Official website

The Central Bank of Iraq (Arabic: البنك المركزي العراقي‎) is the central bank of Iraq.



The Central Bank of Iraq was established as Iraq's central bank by Central Bank of Iraq Law 2004 with authorised capital of 100 billion dinars.[1] The current Governor of the Central Bank of Iraq is Sinan Al Shabibi.


The bank headquarters were designed by Danish architects Dissing+Weitling And completed in 1985. It is a cubical building constructed of reinforced concrete clad in marble. It has few exterior openings, and is instead organised around an inner courtyard which cuts through the heart of the structure and rises to a height of 40m. The courtyard is surrounded on all sides by offices separated by an interior glass curtain wall.[2]

Central Bank of Iraq, designed by Dissing+Weitling, Baghdad

In August 2010, architect Zaha Hadid was appointed to design new headquarters for the Central Bank in Baghdad. Baghdad-born Zaha Hadid, was approached by the Iraqi authorities earlier that year; initial talks about the project were held in Istanbul on August 14, 2010 in the presence of Central Bank Governor Sinan Al-Shabibi.


As of at least March 28, 2011, the official web site of the CBI states "the primary objectives of the Central Bank of Iraq (CBI) are to ensure domestic price stability and to foster a stable competitive market-based financial system. The CBI shall also promote sustainable growth, employment and prosperity in Iraq.". The CBI web site further states that the functions of the CBI in addition to the primary objectives mentioned above include:

  • To implement the monetary policy and the exchange rate policy for Iraq.
  • To hold gold and manage the state reserves of gold.
  • To issue and manage the Iraq currency.
  • To establish, oversee, and promote a sound and efficient payment system.
  • To issue licenses or permits to banks and to regulate and supervise banks as further specified by the Banking Law.
  • To carry out any related ancillary tasks or transactions within the framework of Iraqi law.

The objectives of the Central Bank of the Iraq are as follows:

As of December 2009, the bank reported total assets valued at over 57 trillion dinars.[3] The bank’s head office is located in Baghdad with four branches in Basrah, Mosul, Sulaimaniyah and Erbil. However, currently the bank does not control the financial and administrative affairs of Erbil and Sulaimaniyah branches, as these branches are technically reporting to the headquarter in Baghdad and for all other issues they are reporting to Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) and they are financed by KRG.

As of July 2010 steps and measures have taken place in order to integrate these branches with the headquarter in Baghdad.

Foreign exchange reserves have increased to nearly US$58 billion (as of september 2011) due to a rise in oil revenues, indicating the improved ability since 2003 to deal with the repayement of foreign debt, the currency stabilization, and the coverage of average monthly imports.

The largest bank robbery in history

In March 2003, on several occasions beginning on March 18, the day before the United States began bombing Baghdad, nearly US$1 billion was stolen from the Central Bank of Iraq. This is considered the largest bank heist in history.[4]

In March 2003, a hand-written note surfaced, signed by Saddam Hussein, ordering $920 million to be withdrawn and given to his son Qusay. Bank officials state that Qusay and another unidentified man oversaw the cash, boxes of $100 bills, being loaded into trucks during a five hour operation.[5] Qusay was later killed by the U.S. Military in a battle.[6]

See also


External links

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