Iraq foreign reserves drop to $50 billion on falling oil income

BAGHDAD, Oct 5 (Reuters) - Iraq’s foreign exchange reserves have dropped to $50 billion as the OPEC nation continues to run a budget deficit because of falling oil income, state-run newspaper al-Sabah said on Wednesday, citing Central Bank Governor Ali al-Alak.

Iraq’ foreign reserves stood at $59 billion at the end of October 2015, according to a government memo to the International Monetary Fund in January .

Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi on Tuesday announced plans to narrow the public deficit by 38 percent next year through lower spending and higher levels of oil exports and prices. The Iraqi projection is based on an expectation of higher oil prices in the future.

Reporting by Maher Chmaytelli; Editing by Richard Balmforth