Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Surely this counts as good news

My attention was drawn to this story, which appears to have had no coverage in our media. Yet, it must count as good news from Iraq.
Thomson Reuters today announced that the Trade Bank of Iraq (TBI) will become the first bank in the country to connect to the international foreign exchange and money market community using the Thomson Reuters Dealing trading service.

By joining the professional international foreign exchange community through Thomson Reuters Dealing, TBI will for the first time be able to access liquidity and counterparties across global money markets electronically.

Until now, TBI has been managing its foreign exchange (FX) and funding needs by telephone.
It is something of a given among people who have anything remotely resembling good sense (i.e. not politicians or NGO personnel) that the best way forward for any country that is poor for whatever reason (in this case, years of appallingly corrupt and bloodthirsty dictatorship, then war and civil war) is to develop economically. Being able to integrate into the world financial system and to be part of a high-powered electronic system will help the Trade Bank of Iraq and, probably, other Iraqi banks. Thomson Reuters, one assumes, sees this as a profitable deal, rather than charitable activity.

It is, however, interesting that all the coverage of the story comes from Middle Eastern news websites, such as Al Bawaba, Khaleej Times and Trade Arabia. Was nobody else at the Dubai press conference or were they all too busy reporting Dubai's own financial travails? Apologies: CNN published the press release with other information.

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