Iraq central bank denies dinar revaluation plan

BAGHDAD Thu Dec 13, 2007 5:22pm IST

BAGHDAD Dec 13 (Reuters) - Iraq's central bank denied on Thursday a plan to quickly revalue the dinar, saying a rumour had been spread by speculators.

The Iraqi dinar has been gaining value slowly for months after the government announced a plan to gradually raise the exchange rate, now officially 1,210 to the U.S. dollar.

But the past week has seen the rate on Iraq's streets climb suddenly as high as 1,080.

Rumours spread through Baghdad that the government was planning to suddenly move the official rate to 1,000 and perhaps remove three zeros to achieve 1:1 parity with the dollar.

"An authorised source at the Central Bank of Iraq denies rumours that claimed the bank wished to value the dollar at 1,000 Dinars, or less or more, or change the currency denominations, or remove the zeros from the present currency," the central bank said in a statement.

"The Central Bank is following the phenomenon of less demand for the dollar closely," it said. "Information or widespread rumours like this are designed to allow very quick trading benefits for some at the expense of the people."

(Baghdad newsroom; writing by Peter Graff)

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