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Russia focuses on broader Asia ties amid West’s bans: Medvedev

By , September 19, 2014 12:47 pm

Russia focuses on broader Asia ties amid West’s bans: Medvedev
By: Press TV on: 19.09.2014 [15:58 ] (73 reads)

Russia focuses on broader Asia ties amid West’s bans: Medvedev
Fri Sep 19, 2014 2:27PM GMT

Russia’s Prime Minister Dimitry Medvedev says improving ties with Asian nations has emerged as Moscow’s key strategy in the face of sanctions imposed on Moscow by Western countries.

“First, it is needed to increase the level of trust between Russia and Asian countries at state, corporate and civil levels,” Medvedev told a group of politicians and businessmen in the Black Sea resort of Sochi on Friday.

He said no investment could be expected “without trust,” adding, “Secondly, it is needed to qualitatively expand the scale of involvement in regional affairs, meeting the demand in relations with Russia formed for the last few years.”

Medvedev also stated that his country does not intend to detach the Russian economy from the West and noted that Russia is prepared to work on enhancing relations with the EU and the US if they learn to listen to Moscow.

The Russian premier also brushed aside the impact of Western sanctions, saying history has demonstrated that attempts to exert pressure on Russia have been unsuccessful.

Washington and the EU have imposed sanctions on Russia after the Crimean Peninsula was integrated into the Russian federation earlier this year, accusing Moscow of supporting pro-Russia forces in the region.

The Kremlin, however, has denied any involvement in the Ukraine crisis.

MFB/KA/SS

http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2014/09/19/379257/russia-focuses-on-broader-ties-with-asia/

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Don’t Miss Out On The ISXReport 1/2 Off Sale

By , September 19, 2014 12:38 pm



All,
Since the start of 2011, the ISX (Iraqi Stock Exchange) has escalated from 40% to 65%, representing the largest increase in the exchange’s history to date and leading the investment world to Iraq’s door with potential gains already being made on the open market.

ISXReport.com reigns as the leading company in providing the most comprehensive reports and information for potential investors wanting to get involved in the Iraqi Stock Exchange, the number one performing exchange in the world today.

The Iraqi Stock Exchange has a list of approximately 80 companies with 40-60 companies actively trading. Since the start of 2011, the ISX (Iraqi Stock Exchange) has escalated from 40% to 65%, representing the largest increase in the exchange’s history to date and leading the investment world to Iraq’s door with potential gains already being made on the open market.

Foresight of future gains by analysts has projected that the ISX index will rise as much as 200% in the next fiscal year. U.S Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, issued a statement regarding Iraq’s rapid financial growth, “According to the IMF (International Money Fund), Iraq is projected to grow faster than China in the next two years. We always think of China as being the juggernaut, but no, indeed Iraq is projected to grow faster than China.”

Why ISXReport.com?

Foreign investors are allowed to invest via the ISX and there are no foreign stock ownership restrictions. However, before a foreigner can buy and sell Iraqi stock shares, they are required to have to their identity verified by a licensed broker in Iraq and must be certified by the Iraqi Embassy in the investor’s home country. This and other pertinent information and tips are all included at ISXReport.com

To learn more about ISXReport.com and how to begin the process of proper international trading and high-yielding investing on the ISX, please visit the following link:


Website: http://www.isxreport.com or click on the button to   Buy Now

Don’t Miss Out On The ISXReport 1/2 Off Sale

By , September 19, 2014 12:38 pm



All,
Since the start of 2011, the ISX (Iraqi Stock Exchange) has escalated from 40% to 65%, representing the largest increase in the exchange’s history to date and leading the investment world to Iraq’s door with potential gains already being made on the open market.

ISXReport.com reigns as the leading company in providing the most comprehensive reports and information for potential investors wanting to get involved in the Iraqi Stock Exchange, the number one performing exchange in the world today.

The Iraqi Stock Exchange has a list of approximately 80 companies with 40-60 companies actively trading. Since the start of 2011, the ISX (Iraqi Stock Exchange) has escalated from 40% to 65%, representing the largest increase in the exchange’s history to date and leading the investment world to Iraq’s door with potential gains already being made on the open market.

Foresight of future gains by analysts has projected that the ISX index will rise as much as 200% in the next fiscal year. U.S Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, issued a statement regarding Iraq’s rapid financial growth, “According to the IMF (International Money Fund), Iraq is projected to grow faster than China in the next two years. We always think of China as being the juggernaut, but no, indeed Iraq is projected to grow faster than China.”

Why ISXReport.com?

Foreign investors are allowed to invest via the ISX and there are no foreign stock ownership restrictions. However, before a foreigner can buy and sell Iraqi stock shares, they are required to have to their identity verified by a licensed broker in Iraq and must be certified by the Iraqi Embassy in the investor’s home country. This and other pertinent information and tips are all included at ISXReport.com

To learn more about ISXReport.com and how to begin the process of proper international trading and high-yielding investing on the ISX, please visit the following link:


Website: http://www.isxreport.com or click on the button to   Buy Now

Washington Snubs Bolivia on Drug Policy Reform, Again

By , September 19, 2014 12:02 pm
bolivia-coca-leaf-production-drug-war-cocaine

In Bolivia, licensed growers can legally cultivate a limited quantity of coca—a policy that has actually reduced overall production. But because it doesn’t fit the U.S. drug war model, the policy has raised hackles in Washington. (Photo: Thomas Grisaffi / FPIF)

Once again, Washington claims Bolivia has not met its obligations under international narcotics agreements. For the seventh year in a row, the U.S. president has notified Congress that the Andean country “failed demonstrably” in its counter-narcotics efforts over the last 12 months. Blacklisting Bolivia means the withholding of U.S. aid from one of South America’s poorest countries.

The story has hardly made the news in the United States, and that is worrisome. While many countries in the hemisphere call for drug policy reform and are willing to entertain new strategies in that vein, it remains business-as-usual in the United States.

The UN’s Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), meanwhile, seems to think that Bolivia is doing a great job, lauding the government’s efforts to tackle coca production (coca is used to make cocaine) and cocaine processing for the past three years. The Organization of American States (OAS) is also heaping praise on Bolivia, calling Bolivia’s innovative new approach to coca control an example of a “best practice” in drug policy.

According to the UNODC, Bolivia has decreased the amount of land dedicated to coca plants by about 26 percent from 2010-2013. Approximately 56,800 acres are currently under production

U.S. Opposition

bolivia-coca-yungas

Bolivia’s Yungas coca growing region. (Photo: Thomas Grisaffi / FPIF)

Bolivia has achieved demonstrable successes without—and perhaps because of—a complete lack of support from the United States: the Drug Enforcement Administration left in 2009 and all U.S. aid for drug control efforts ended in 2013. Bearing in mind that U.S. drug policy in the Andes has always emphasized “supply-side” reduction like coca crop eradication, the decision is of course a political one. It reflects the U.S. frustration that Bolivia isn’t bending to Washington’s will. Interestingly, most Bolivian-made cocaine ends up in Europe and Brazil—not the United States.

At the same time, Peru and Colombia, both U.S. favorites given their willingness to fall in line with U.S. drug policy mandates, were not included in the list of failures. To be sure, those countries have recently decreased coca crop acreage as well; in some years by a lot more than Bolivia has. Still, they had respectively about 66,200 and 61,700 acres more coca under cultivation than Bolivia in 2013, according to the UNODC’s June 2014 findings. Peru currently produces the most cocaine of any country in the world.

Bolivians have been consuming the coca plant for over 4,000 years as a tea, food, and medicine, and for religious and cultural practices. Coca, the cheapest input in the cocaine commodity chain, cannot be considered equivalent to cocaine, since over 20 chemicals are needed to convert the harmless leaf into the powdery party drug and its less glamorous cousin, crack. Still, coca is listed as a Schedule 1 narcotic under the 1961 UN Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs (the defining piece of international drug control legislation).

When Evo Morales became president of Bolivia he worked to modify the Convention, and in 2013 eventually wrested from the UN the right to allow limited coca production and traditional consumption within Bolivia’s borders. In the process, all Latin American countries except Mexico (which supported the U.S.-led objection) supported Morales’ mission.

The Bolivian Model

bolivia-coca-production-evo-morales

Supporters of Evo Morales at a political rally (Photo: Thomas Grisaffi / FPIF)

The basics of Bolivia’s approach to reining in coca cultivation are fairly simple. Licensed coca growers can legally cultivate a limited amount of coca (1,600square meters) to ensure some basic income, and they police their neighbors to ensure that fellow growers stay within the legal limits. Government forces step in to eradicate coca only when a grower or coca grower’s union refuses to cooperate.

This grassroots control is possible because of the strength of agricultural unions in Bolivia’s coca growing regions and because of growers’ solidarity with President Morales, himself a coca grower.

Another incentive is that reducing supply drives up coca leaf prices, which means that producers can earn more money for their families. As one longtime grower and coca union leader from the Chapare growing region put it: “It’s less work and I make more money.” This income stability, combined with targeted aid from the Bolivian government, means that many coca growers are able to make a living wage and diversify their livelihood strategies—investing in shops, other legal crops, and education.

It also helps that the violence and intimidation at the hands of the previously U.S.-backed Bolivian military has come to an end. People remember what is was like, and many still suffer injuries sustained during different eradication campaigns. One coca grower, for example, had her jaw broken so badly by a soldier as she marched for the right to grow coca that she cannot be fitted for dentures to replace her missing teeth. She emphasized that life is so much better now because it’s less stressful. People do not want to see a return to forced eradication campaigns.

No one is pretending that Bolivia’s coca control approach means the end of cocaine production.  Some portion of coca leaf production—by some estimates, about 22,200-plus acres worth—is still ending up in clandestine, rudimentary labs where it is processed into cocaine paste.

Furthermore, because it is squeezed between Peru, a major cocaine exporter, and Brazil, a growing importer, Bolivia has found it increasingly difficult to control cocaine flows. As a result, despite increased narcotics seizures by Bolivian security forces under Morales’ government, drug trade activities within Bolivia’s borders by some accounts have actually increased over the last few years.

Nevertheless, and for better or worse, the country’s new method of coca control yields results and undeniably satisfies the U.S. supply-side approach, yet Washington maintains its hardline stance against the county. In the present geopolitical context, when even U.S. drug war allies Colombia and Mexico are calling for new approaches to controlling narcotics, the U.S. rejection of the Bolivian model further undermines Washington’s waning legitimacy in the hemisphere.

Zoe Pearson is a PhD candidate in human geography at Ohio State University. Thomas Grisaffi is a social anthropologist who currently works as a research fellow at the UCL Institute of the Americas. They both research coca politics in Bolivia and are contributors to Foreign Policy In Focus.

Foreign Policy In Focus

Syrian Kurds Warn of Mounting Crisis As ISIS Advances

By , September 19, 2014 11:59 am

Istanbul (CNN) — The latest ISIS advance in Syria has brought a swath of the country’s north-central Kurdish region under siege, with Kurdish leaders warning of another humanitarian crisis without international intervention.

The Syrian Kurdish town of Kobani (Ayn al-Arab in Arabic) is an island, surrounded by ISIS on three fronts and the Turkish border to the north.

The town was already mostly blockaded by ISIS, but this week, 21 nearby villages fell under ISIS control, according to a Kurdish activist inside the city. The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, or “Islamic State,” as the group calls itself, took over three additional villages Friday, the London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

Clashes are constant around Kobani as Kurdish fighters attempt to hold off ISIS, which is armed with heavy artillery and tanks, the activist, Mostafa Baly, told CNN.

“Mobilization of people in Kobani is not enough,” said Redur Xelil, a spokesman for the Kurdish fighters. “The international community has to take action. If not, there will be a new (Sinjar) genocide, but this time in Kobani.”

Sinjar is the Iraqi city that came under ISIS attack last month, causing thousands to flee onto adjacent Mount Sinjar, where refugees became stranded and were starving before U.S. airstrikes helped pave a way for them to flee.

The fighting around Kobani has been intense for four days, Xelil told CNN.

Masoud Barzani, the President of the Kurdish Region in Iraq, called the ISIS attacks in northern Syria “barbaric” and described them as ethnic cleansing.

“I ask the international community to take every measure as soon as possible to save Kobani and the people of Syrian Kurdistan from the terrorists,” he said in a statement. “The ISIS terrorists perpetrate crimes and atrocities wherever they are, therefore they have to be hit and defeated wherever they are.”

As ISIS encroached on the nearby villages, residents fled toward Kobani, said Baly, the Kurdish activist. There were reports that ISIS kidnapped some of those fleeing to Kobani, including women, children and the elderly, Baly said.

At least three rockets landed in Kobani, causing much panic, he said.

“There is a great deal of fear, but people are insisting on standing up to ISIS and remaining steadfast in the face of their attack,” he said.

Turkey opens border

The fear of a humanitarian crisis in Kobani rose as displaced people sought refuge there but became trapped between the fighting and the Turkish border.

An estimated 3,000 to 4,000 Kurds fleeing the violence walked right up to the wire border fence with Turkey, where they initially were not allowed in. They just sat at the border as Turkish Kurds on the other side of the fence tried to persuade the Turkish guards to let them in.

The situation on the border could be observed on a live feed from the border and from video footage aired on Turkish news outlets.

The refugees also tried to force their way into Turkey, creating chaos as one woman stepped on a landmine.

Turkey finally opened the border, relieving some of the mounting pressure in Kobani and allowing refugees to enter Sanliurfa province.

“Four thousand of our siblings will be hosted in our country,” Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu told state media. “Opening our arms to our Syrian brothers is our historic humanitarian responsibility.”

Hosting Syrian refugees is nothing new for Turkey and other neighboring nations. About 815,000 registered Syrian refugees were in Turkey as of last month, part of the 3 million total registered Syrian refugees that the U.N. has counted amid Syria’s three-year civil war.

A further 6.5 million people were believed to be displaced within Syria as of last month, according to the U.N.

U.S. military on deck

The U.S. Senate on Thursday voted overwhelmingly to approve the arming of Syrian rebels as top U.S. military leadership approved a plan to strike ISIS in Syria. The House approved Obama’s request Wednesday.

The approval allows President Barack Obama to carry out part of his stated strategy to combat ISIS, though some political leaders remain divided on the way forward.

With approval in hand to arm and train Syrian rebels to fight ISIS, Obama said Thursday the plan keeps with “the key principle” of U.S. strategy: No American combat troops on the ground.

“The American troops deployed to Iraq do not and will not have a combat mission,” he said in televised remarks from the White House.

“Their mission is to advise and assist our partners on the ground. … We can destroy ISIL without having our troops fight another ground war in the Middle East.”

Obama said more than 40 countries, including Arab nations, have offered assistance in the battle against ISIS.

Long vetting and training process

National Security Adviser Susan Rice, speaking to reporters Friday, said that now that approval to arm moderate Syrian rebels has been given, a long process will start to vet and train those who will be benefit from the measure.

U.S. military personnel will train the Syrian fighters outside of Syria, and the process of planning the training and vetting the participants will take months, she said.

“This is a serious training program, and we are serious about vetting those we are training and equipping,” she said.

Rice stepped around questions about whether airstrikes against ISIS in Syria will require an additional thumbs-up from President Obama, repeating the President’s own announcement that the United States is “prepared” to broaden its actions in the region into Syria.

ISIS videos

The advance by ISIS in northern Syria comes as the Islamist group released a 55-minute English-language video warning America against “direct confrontation.”

The video describes the conflict as a fight between believers and nonbelievers, and praises its successes on the battlefield.

Earlier this week, ISIS released another video showing a captive British journalist criticizing the American and British governments.

Citing the Sunni terror group’s brutality, from beheading civilians — including American journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff — to the mass execution of its opponents, Obama said the United States will not back down.

“With their barbaric murder of two Americans, these terrorists thought they could frighten us or intimidate us or cause us to shrink from the world,” Obama said.

“But today, they are learning the same hard lesson of petty tyrants and terrorists who have gone before: As Americans, we do not give in to fear. When you harm our citizens, when you threaten the United States, when you threaten our allies, it doesn’t frighten us. It unites us.”

The question now appears to be not if, but when, the United States will strike ISIS in its stronghold in northern Syria.

The U.S. military has everything it needs to strike ISIS targets in Syria, a plan that officials told CNN is still waiting on Obama’s signoff.

ISIS, meanwhile, is modifying its behavior, from the way it communicates to the way it conceals itself, in response to potential U.S. airstrikes in Syria, U.S. military officials told CNN.

The officials expressed confidence the airstrikes would be effective.

Gul Tuysuz reported from Istanbul, and Mariano Castillo wrote and reported from Atlanta. CNN’s Salma Abdelaziz, Barbara Starr, Jason Hanna and Chelsea J. Carter contributed to this report.

Assyrian International News Agency

Oil Exports Fall in August

By , September 19, 2014 11:49 am

Oil Exports Fall in August

By John Lee.

Reuters reports that Iraq’s oil exports fell from $ 7.8 billion in July to $ 7.1 billion in August.

Citing sources at the State Oil Marketing Organisation (SOMO), the report said that 73.6 million barrels of oil were exported in August at an average price of $ 97.4 per barrel, down from $ 102.8 in July.

This averages 2.375 million bpd, down from 2.442 million bpd in the previous month.

(Source: Reuters)

(Oil image via Shutterstock)

Iraq Business News

Impacts of Fed’s Monetary Policy: U.S. National Debt Surges $1 Trillion In Just 12 Months

By , September 19, 2014 10:04 am

Impacts of Fed’s Monetary Policy: U.S. National Debt Surges $ 1 Trillion In Just 12 Months
By: Zerohedge on: 19.09.2014 [06:21 ] (101 reads)

Impacts of Fed’s Monetary Policy: U.S. National Debt Surges $ 1 Trillion In Just 12 Months

By Zero Hedge
Global Research, September 18, 2014
Zero Hedge

by Ronan Manly

The U.S. financial position continues to deteriorate badly and in the last 12 months has increased by over $ 1 trillion dollars.

Nick Laird of Sharelynx has just reproduced his fascinating and timely chart showing the US debt limit, the actual US debt and the gold price all in one chart.

From 2000 until around the first quarter of 2013, there was a very strong and close correlation between the growth of the US national debt and the rise in the US dollar gold price.

After Q1 2013 this correlation broke down according to the chart, wherein the US national debt continued to skyrocket and the US dollar gold price fell significantly. The end of Q1 2013 coincides with the smash down of the gold price in April 2013, which actually created a huge increase in demand for physical gold all across the world.

Looking at the huge divergence in the graph after mid 2013 between the continued growth in the US national debt and the drop and subsequent tight trading range for gold between $ 1200 and $ 1400, one can only conclude that gold is somehow being prevented from its previous job of accurately reflecting an explosive US national debt picture.

Source: Brillig.com

An update on the future trend of US monetary policy is in the offing today as the US Federal Reserve’s latest two day Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting concludes in Washington DC.

As usual, global financial markets will scrutinise the Committee’s press conference statement for any shift in Fed thinking on when the US central bank will begin to raise short term interest rates.

With the Fed’s QE3 asset purchase scheme coming to an end, markets are speculating on whether the Fed will, at this time, alter its recent interest rate guidance language that states that its federal funds rate would be maintained as is for a ‘considerable time’. Any tweaking of this phraseology will create more price volatility in the US dollar and so would also create volatility in bond, stock and commodity markets, including precious metals markets.

Markets are expecting some comment on the existing guidance but are also concerned that changing the guidance at this time may complicate the parallel track of winding down the QE program.

The voting members of the FOMC comprise the Fed’s five board of governors, the president of the NY Fed, and presidents of four other Fed Reserve banks who are selected on a rotating basis from the panel of the eleven other regional Fed banks. Although there are technically seven seats on the Fed board of governors, only five board seats are currently occupied.

This means that there are currently ten voting members on the FOMC – Yellen, Brainard, Fischer, Powell and Tarullo from the board of governors, Bill Dudley from the New York Fed, and Plosser (Philadelphia), Mester (Cleveland), Fisher (Dallas) and Kocherlakota (Minneapolis) representing the regional Fed banks.

As regards interest rate aggressiveness, Plosser, Mester and Fisher are considered the more hawkish by Wall Street watchers.

The ‘considerable time’ guidance that is currently subjecting the financial markets to pained deliberations was communicated to the financial markets in an FOMC press release on July 30, when the FOMC, in a 9-1 majority decision voted to release a statement that where they thought it:

“likely will be appropriate to maintain the current target range for the federal funds rate for a considerable time after the asset purchase program ends, especially if projected inflation continues to run below the Committee’s 2 percent longer-run goal, and provided that longer-term inflation expectations remain well anchored.”

The one dissenting vote in July came from Plosser of the Philadelphia Fed who thought that the ‘considerable time’ language was “time dependent and does not reflect the considerable economic progress that has been made toward the Committee’s goals.”

Yesterday Jon Hilsenrath, the Wall Street Journal’s chief economics correspondent, weighed in on the ‘considerable time’ speculations. Hilsenrath is perceived as being very close to the Federal Reserve powerbrokers in terms of access and information flow, so his opinion is taken seriously.

Hilsenrath said yesterday that he thinks that the FOMC will probably ‘qualify’ their ‘considerable time’ phrase in some shape or form, but that since the Fed wants to communicate additional information on the timeframe of the QE bond buying operations, that the Committee may think it’s too complicated for the financial markets to process all of this information at one time.

Given that the global financial markets are some of the most sophisticated processors of information in the world, Hilsenrath’s official view looks a little naïve. Since Hilsenrath is not naïve and appears to regularly know what the FOMC is thinking, this suggests that the Fed is most likely stalling for time in raising interest rates since it believes that the US economy is really weaker than it wants to admit.

The US national debt continues to spiral out of control, seemingly without any plan to ever reign it in.

Compared to this time last year, the national debt has grown by over $ 1 trillion. At the end of September 2013, the cumulative debt stood at $ 16.74 trillion. Now it is over $ 17.76 trillion.

Astoundingly, more than $ 7 trillion of additional US national debt will have been accumulated over the 8 year duration of Obama’s two presidencies, which is more than the accumulated US national debt of all previous US presidencies combined.

This is not to mention the more than $ 200 trillion of US government unfunded liabilities such as pensions.

When the total US government debt of over $ 17.76 trillion is added to all U.S. business and personal debt, it approaches an astronomical $ 60 trillion. This is more than 25 times the total outstanding debt that existed when the U.S. severed the link to the gold standard in August 1971.

Since that time the Federal Reserve has encouraged and facilitated this huge growth of outstanding debt and in various crises, when it would have been more prudent to deflate asset bubbles, the Fed has continually supported these bubbles while encouraging new ones.

The primary focus on the wording from the FOMC smells of an element of rearranging the chairs on the Titanic.

Fiscal lunacy is alive and well in Washington with ramifications for the dollar and for investors and savers globally.

by Ronan Manly , Edited by Mark O’Byrne

http://www.globalresearch.ca/impacts-of-feds-monetary-policy-u-s-national-debt-surges-1-trillion-in-just-12-months/5402748

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Scotland Rejects Independence, Pound Erases Gains

By , September 19, 2014 7:29 am

The Great Britain pound wiped out its earlier gains after the results of a referendum showed that people of Scotland decided to remain in the United Kingdom. The currency was rising previously as traders were counting exactly on this outcome.

Scotland rejected independence as 55 percent of the Scotsmen voted ‘no’ against 45 percent that voted ‘yes’. So why the pound has fallen even though Forex market participants were buying the currency earlier counting on exactly this result? Perhaps, traders were following the “buy the rumor, sell the fact” strategy. Or perhaps they turned attention to the state of the UK economy that may be hurt by the weakness of European economy.

GBP/USD slid from 1.6393 to 1.6340 as of 12:07 GMT today after jumping to 1.6524 earlier. GBP/JPY sank to 177.73 following the surge from 178.13 to 180.71.

If you have any questions, comments or opinions regarding the Great Britain Pound, feel free to post them using the commentary form below.

Earlier News About the Great Britain Pound:

Forex News

Malaysian Central Bank Keeps Rates on Hold, Ringgit Drops

By , September 19, 2014 7:27 am

100-ringgit billThe Malaysian ringgit fell today, heading to the biggest weekly drop since August, after the nation’s central bank refrained from changing its monetary policy and kept the benchmark Overnight Policy Rate unchanged.

The Bank Negara Malaysia left its key interest rate at 3.25 percent today. Regarding the outlook for monetary policy in future, the central bank commented:

Further adjustment to the degree of monetary accommodation may be taken depending on how new information will affect the assessment on the balance of risks.

The passiveness of the Malaysian central bank contrasts to the plans of the US Federal Reserve to raise borrowing costs in relatively near future. This sent the ringgit down against the dollar.

USD/MYR advanced from 3.2315 to 3.2380 as of 12:25 GMT today. The currency pair was up 1.1 percent over the week.

If you have any questions, comments or opinions regarding the Malaysian Ringgit, feel free to post them using the commentary form below.

Forex News

How Islamic State uses Syria’s oil to fuel its advances

By , September 19, 2014 7:21 am

How Islamic State uses Syria’s oil to fuel its advances
By: reuters on: 19.09.2014 [06:24 ] (66 reads)

How Islamic State uses Syria’s oil to fuel its advances
Reuters
September 19, 2014

AMMAN: In an oil field in northeastern Syria, a queue of trucks lines up daily to load crude sold cheaply by Islamic State militants who have hijacked parts of the country’s energy industry in their bid to build a caliphate.
Sales at Shadada field, described by an oil trader, are just one example of how the group, which has seized land in war-torn Syria and neighbouring Iraq, is creating its own economy through a series of pragmatic trades.
It is cutting deals with local traders and buyers, even businessmen who support Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, and some of its oil has made its way back to government buyers through a series of middlemen.
“Islamic State makes not less than $ 2 million (£1.2 million) daily that allows them to pay salaries and maintain their operations,” said a former Western oil executive who worked in a foreign oil firm operating in Syria before the crisis and who is familiar with the nascent oil market.

The United States, which has been bombing Islamic State positions in Iraq, has said it is prepared to extend the campaign into Syria, which has been racked by civil war for more than three years, and has said it will train more than 5,000 Syrian rebel fighters to counter the advancing group.
But oil sales mean Islamic State, an al Qaeda splinter group, can rely less on foreign donations and attract more recruits and supporters with its newfound wealth, something that is likely to make the group harder to stamp out in Syria.
Islamic State has taken oil fields from Western-backed Syrian rebels and the government in recent months and is believed to control hundreds of wells, depriving Assad’s government of a major source of income.
Damascus says Syria’s production fell to an average of 28,000 barrels per day (bpd) in 2013 from 164,000 bpd in 2012. Oil sales made up nearly a quarter of state revenues before the war. The government says it has lost $ 3.8 billion in stolen oil because of the conflict.
Boosted by arms seized in neighbouring Iraq, Islamic State has consolidated its grip on the eastern oil-producing area of Deir al-Zor in recent months, coming closer to the north east, where the largest oil wells are controlled by Kurdish militias.
It is estimated to have taken control of hundreds of small wells in Deir al-Zor that produced around 130,000 bpd of mostly light crude, according to a senior oil engineer now working in Damascus.
Half of Syria’s estimated pre-war production of 380,000 bpd in 2011 was located in Hasaka province, which the Kurds took control of in mid-2012 as Assad’s forces relocated westwards to fight Sunni Muslim rebels in Aleppo.
If Hasaka were eventually to fall to Islamic State, the group will have control of nearly all of the country’s installations.
However, the group has yet to fully exploit the fields it already holds due to a lack of technical expertise. The main fields it controls – Shadad, al Omar, Tenak and Ward – were once mostly operated by international oil companies.
But Royal Dutch Shell Total and Petro Canada have long since abandoned the area, making full use of the fields a formidable challenge.
“Many wells were shut down and foreign firms withdrew and the equipment was looted by rebels, who emptied warehouses,” said one former oil executive with a foreign company.
Few people with technical expertise remain in Islamic State areas. In Kurdish-held territory many staff have remained, and some still get their salaries from Damascus’s oil ministry.

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/foreign/19-Sep-2014/how-islamic-state-uses-syria-s-oil-to-fuel-its-advances

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