Friday, July 09, 2004

Iraq's first bond market will open this month, a move designed to ensure that the Iraqi government won't repeat Saddam Hussein's ruinous economic policies.

At the first bond auction, scheduled for July 18, Iraqi banks can bid for about 150 billion dinars (a little more than $100 million) worth of government debt, the finance ministry announced Wednesday.

Iraqi authorities for the first time are letting free market forces set interest rates in Iraq. The yield at the auction will set an unprecedented benchmark in Iraq, allowing commercial lenders to price loans more rationally.

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