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Iraq to seek $5 billion bond issue


04-16-2015 11:10 BJT

Iraq has decided to issue 5 billion US dollars in international bonds and is negotiating the terms as one of the measures to relieve the pressure of low oil prices on its finances. Finance Minister Hoshyar Zebari said on Wednesday in Washington that Iraq was negotiating with Citigroup's Citibank and Deutsche Bank about the issue.

However, he declined to say what maturity and interest rates were being negotiated for the bonds. As the world number two oil producer, cheap oil is ravaging Iraq's state finances. Zebari said the government was facing a budget deficit of 25 billion US dollars, out of a budget of approximately 100 billion US dollars. Oil prices have halved from 115 US dollars a barrel in June 2014, due to ample supply in a decline that deepened after OPEC chose to defend market share rather than cut output.

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