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Dinar Rumor Confirmation from an Iraqi merchant

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What follows is an email from our God-daughters' dad who is a contract firefighter stationed in Iraq. Nothing earth shattering but confirmation that news has filtered down to Iraqi citizens/merchants that the RV is coming and what they believe it will mean for them as well as the RV rate that they believe is coming. Again, only one man's opinion (a kiosk merchant) ... the firefighter is known to me and my wife (a first rate guy and firefighter) who holds dinar and has consistently increased his investment because according to him (in a previous email), "...I have seen the oil seeping out of the ground in this wasteland and that's not even counting all the natural gas. Like I told her (his wife) the one thing I'm sure of is we are not going to lose money it's just a matter of how much we are going to make! Thank you for sending me all the info. ( I read everything ) and I'm looking forward to having my girls college and first cars paid for in the near future...take care "

Here's the email

I spoke to one of the local Iraqi shop owners on base --

you know the guy's that sell the soldier's goods, sundries, stuff, ...

anyway ,I asked him what he thought was going to happen

with the dinar and he got pretty psyched --and went on to tell

me that it's been all over their local news about the sanctions

being lifted and that they are due for a dinar RV.. He thinks it will

happen around mid summer..I tried to get some more info from

the guy but it was hard to keep him on topic---he was more interested

in giving me a history lesson on what the dinar used to be worth and how

he and the rest of his family will be very wealthy when they do RV...He

was telling me ( in his opinion ) that it will match our money dollar to dinar..and he

expected it to be back to a pre Saddam value within 5 years....I hope he's right..

anyway , I will try to pick his brain again in a couple days..he speaks English well,

so let me know if you have any specific questions I should ask..oh yea, I forgot that you and Shirley put Dinar aside for your Grand kids education. when I made the comment about having

college paid for I was thinking for myself.....still getting used to this Father thing. It's funny how

it changes you. I think of everything in long term long as my 3 girls are secure and happy I should have it made. talk to you later, M*******

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Interesting post - but I wonder how Iraq will have to start paying Kuwait back as the UN Sec Council dictated on Dec 21 of 2009 - they said Iraq will have to start payments by April 1st of this year. With the Dinar so low I'm not sure how that's possible.

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I think the people in the chat rooms are the only ones that are urgent .... oh ... and all the so called experts with inside intel about this weekend, next monday, etc. which NEVER HAPPEN because its mostly fiction :)

no rv until after the elections .... at the earliest .... keep in mind no matter who gets elected, there will probably be a period of violence/bombings, etc. as a form of protest by the losing parties, Kuwait must be passified, they must get out from Ch. 7 and they MUST produce OIL REVENUES to justify having a highly valued currency..... and it will take a few years to reach the $2 - $ 3 range.

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Iraq looks to local and foreign investment to build its economy

Trading floors are known for being volatile. Those who think they're tough should try navigating the Iraq Stock Exchange.

On Jan. 12, the Tuesday trading session was cancelled. Intelligence reports pointed to a planned suicide attack somewhere in the capital. As a precaution, authorities ordered a strict curfew on Baghdad.

"The stock exchange has called off its session on Tuesday because of the inability of its employees to reach their workplace," a source told the Aswat al-Iraq news agency in a bit of an understatement.

And New York City investors thought midtown traffic was inconvenient.

This isn't the first time Shwan Taha, CEO of Rabee Securities, one of Baghdad's oldest and largest brokerage firms, has seen trading suspended. Of course, it's nothing compared to 2006 when it lasted for months during what the United Nations called a "civil warlike situation."

Today, Taha sees that relatively more security in the streets means the same for his investments.

"On the exchange, the largest sector is by far the banks," he explains while e-mailing stock reports over a problematic Internet connection. On this day, the Bank of Baghdad closed at 1.98 Iraqi Dinars -less than a penny US.

"Then there is the tourism sector," he says. "But, that's really more real estate when you get into it."

Taha knows the intricacies of this market. After all, he has traded shares in Baghdad since its first exchange opened in 1992. Back then it was the Baghdad Stock Exchange. Under the rule of Saddam Hussein, it provided a prosperous living.

"It operated well until the invasion at which point it was closed. Then squatters moved in for a year," says Taha. "The U.S. tried to reopen it. But, reopening was a fanciful thing. They couldn't manage it. They were incompetent."

Without a formal system of trading, brokerages set about creating their own private exchange. In June 2004, the Iraq Stock Exchange opened with 15 listings. Today it has about 90 companies and recently moved to electronic trading.

"It's the same system that the NASDAQ uses," says Taha. Although, he acknowledges it can't rely on the country's battered power grid that leaves Baghdad in the dark unexpectedly and for long periods of time. "You have to factor in that the computer system and servers can't go off. So, the exchange runs on generators. Trading only happens for two hours a day."

As a backup, the old system remains in place -white-boards and dry-erase markers. Throughout the exchange building, a former restaurant in the heart of Baghdad, hanging boards represent each company listed. Traders, mobile phones pressed to their ears, crowd these boards, writing and erasing notes to buy and sell.

It's a definite skill that requires a fast hand and a shrewd eye. Now though, investors can verify their trades on the spot rather than waiting two weeks for certificates. That's something Taha hopes will bring in new investors.

"We definitely cater towards foreign investment. We've seen an uptick, especially frontier funds," he says. "But, the global custodians of the economy have not been to Iraq yet."

Iraq is still tiny compared to established markets in London and New York. By the end of 2008, the ISX had traded only $270 million compared to the NYSE's $16.7 trillion. But, in spite of the non-market volatility, many hope local and foreign investment will boost the nation's economy.

On the last day of January, despite the delay earlier in the month, the index was up 1.16 per cent. As Taha predicted, the banks dominated the trading. But, Tourist Village of Mosul (HTVM) represented one of the biggest gains, up 10 per cent on the day.

For people like Taha, this only proves there's money to be made at the ISX. Of course, the investment may be a little more high-risk than usual.

Craig and Marc Kielburger co-founded Free the Children. The goal of the organization is to free children from poverty and exploitation through education.

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I am interested to know, if the merchant has changed his prices. If your friend of a friend, or whoever is really a customer he would know if the prices have changed. Why is it so hard to get confirmation? If prices have indeed changed it would be a positive sign that the financial structure is changing. Can't someone answer the question without 'himhawing' around.

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I am interested to know, if the merchant has changed his prices. If your friend of a friend, or whoever is really a customer he would know if the prices have changed. Why is it so hard to get confirmation? If prices have indeed changed it would be a positive sign that the financial structure is changing. Can't someone answer the question without 'himhawing' around.

NO,...merchants have NOT changed their prices. That rumor is false.

Business is carrying on as usual with the same prices as before.

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