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Iraq to put off $2 bln international bond sale to 2017 -official

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Thu Sep 29, 2016 | 1:52pm EDT


Iraq to put off $2 bln international bond sale to 2017 -official

By Stephen Kalin | BAGHDAD, Sept 29

Iraq is likely to delay the planned sale of $2 billion in bonds on international markets until at least early 2017, a government adviser said on Thursday, hoping that rising oil revenues and victory over Islamic State will improve public finances.

Baghdad had said it would issue the bonds, with half the value guaranteed by the U.S. government, in the last quarter of 2016. But those plans appear uncertain after Finance Minister Hoshiyar Zebari was sacked last week on corruption charges, which he denies.

"I think we are going to push it back," Mudher Salih, an adviser on financial policy to Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, told Reuters in an interview. "We have to see the situation of the oil market - if it's enhanced we could leave it a little, if the oil market deteriorates more, we will have to borrow."

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