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Words in the News
 
Friday 16 January 2004
 
Iraq's new banknotes
 
Iraq's old banknotes Iraqi banknotes bearing the face of Saddam Hussein ceased to be legal tender on 15th January 2004. New notes carrying pictures of historic Iraqi sites and artefacts have been in circulation since October 2003, and their value has risen sharply.
This report from Mark Gregory:
 
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The Iraqi dinar has risen a third or so in value against the dollar since the new banknotes began to circulate. One factor has been the gradual pick up of the Iraqi economy after the devastation of the war. There are simply more transactions taking place, which has supported the value of the currency. And it seems Iraqis trust the new dinar banknotes more than they did the old ones, which featured pictures of Saddam Hussein.

The new notes, printed in Britain, contain sophisticated features to protect against forgery. But the dinar's rise has also been driven by speculators. Large amounts of new Iraqi currency have been smuggled across borders to be stashed in other Arab nations.

Speculators are betting the dinar will rise much further still in years to come as the country make full use of its oil wealth. Cross border smuggling has contributed to a shortage of new banknotes in Iraq. Scarcity has pushed up their value.
 
 
Listen Listen to the words
 
risen a third or so
 
increased in value compared to the dollar by about 33%
 
banknotes
 
pieces of paper money
 
circulate
 
here, be used by people
 
transactions
 
business deals involving buying or selling
 
supported
 
helped to keep it at a high level
 
forgery
 
the crime of making and using false banknotes to deceive people
 
speculators
 
speculators buy things in the hope of selling them later at a profit
 
stashed
 
an informal word for hiding something to keep it safe
 
oil wealth
 
financial resources from the sale of oil
 
pushed up
 
made it rise higher
 
 
 
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