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  • Investors Iraq News's Avatar
    Today, 06:00 AM
    By John Lee. The United Nations has advertised new positions in Iraq: Internal Controller and Compliance Manager, Save the Children Child Protection Manager, Save the Children WASH Program Manager, Save the Children IT Assistant, IOM – International Organization for Migration Psychosocial Area Coordinator, IOM – International Organization for Migration Finance Assistant, IOM – International Organization for Migration Project Assistant, IOM – International Organization for Migration Programme Associate, UNAMI – United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq Senior Electoral Officer, UNAMI – United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (Source: UN) (Picture: Finger pressing a new career start button, from Olivier Le Moal/Shutterstock) Source: Iraq-BusinessNews.com. Post your commentary below.
    0 replies | 3 view(s)
  • Investors Iraq News's Avatar
    Today, 06:00 AM
    UNDP is helping to launch the Private Sector Development Strategy in KarbalaThe Governorate of Karbala in cooperation with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and support of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) organized a conference to roll out the Holly Karbala Private Sector Development Strategy (2018-2030) in Karbala province. The Holly Karbala Private Sector Development Strategy (2018-2030) (HKPSDS) will support the diversification of the economy as one of the most important keys for the economic growth in Karbala. This new strategy will help create jobs and promote growth in the local economy. UNDP, and the Governorate of Karbala, Provincial Council, Holy Shrines, private sector and academia, have been developing the HKPSDS for the province. Representatives of private sector companies, associations, academics, Directors of public departments, media and other UN agencies as well as officials from the local authority attended the conference. The Governor of Karbala, Mr. Aqeel Al-Turaihi, said in his speech during the conference: “The Private Sector Development Strategy will be a center of excellence of the private sector development among the local governorates, and Holy Karbala Government will provide full support to the implementation of this strategy”. UNDP Deputy Country Director Mr. Gerardo Noto said: “The implementation of this strategy will contribute significantly to advance the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). In particular SDG 8 (Decent work and economic growth), leading to achieve higher levels of economic productivity through diversification, technological upgrading and innovation. “It will also help to achieve SDG 17 (Partnerships for Goal) to encourage and promote effective public, public-private and civil society partnerships, building on the experience and resourcing strategies of partnerships”. The HKPSDS is an adaptation to the local context of the PSDS Iraq 2014 – 2030. It is designed to address the challenges identified and to achieve the objectives set on the national level in the PSDS Iraq (2014-2030) within Karbala Province and is intended to utilize the resources and opportunities available in the province, to achieve the overarching development objectives of revitalizing and strengthening the local private sector and improve the business environment, to contribute to local economic growth, sustainable development and job creation. As the first one of its kind to be implemented in the local governorates of Iraq, The PSDS envisages achieving, by 2030, the vision of “Developing a viable, competitive, local private sector, led by the business community that contributes to the local economy, job creation and sustainable local development in partnership between the Local Government of Karbala Governorate and the local private sector. (Source: UNDP) Source: Iraq-BusinessNews.com. Post your commentary below.
    0 replies | 2 view(s)
  • Investors Iraq News's Avatar
    Today, 03:50 AM
    By John Lee. The United Nations has advertised new positions in Iraqi Kurdistan: Humanitarian Affairs Officer, OCHA – Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Reintegration Advisor, IOM – International Organization for Migration Project Assistant, IOM – International Organization for Migration Consultant Design Engineer, IOM – International Organization for Migration Technical Project Engineer, IOM – International Organization for Migration Finance & Operations Manager, IREX International Senior Project Manager and Country Representative, IREX International Education Specialist, IREX International Rehabilitation, Infrastructure and WASH Coordinator, Première Urgence Internationale (PUI) National Programme Policy Office, WFP – World Food Programme (Source: UN) (Picture: Success, growth, career, development signpost from 3D_Creation/Shutterstock) Source: Iraq-BusinessNews.com. Post your commentary below.
    0 replies | 11 view(s)
  • crazyfrank's Avatar
    Today, 01:39 AM
    Yes, this is certainly possible, and if so Warka has been very, very quiet about this. They could have just more easily merged/teamed up with a more local brokerage firm in Iraq, such as Al-Karmal Company rather than a firm in Palestine. Yes its an expansion in some ways reaching out to new markets beyond the Iraqi borders, but to be so secretive about it makes me worry. Not to mention its one of those places where those card carrying car bomb drivers come from.
    54 replies | 3787 view(s)
  • Wolverine's Avatar
    Yesterday, 03:24 PM
    Chevron Starts Work On Iraq Field Development Deal By Irina Slav - Aug 20, 2018, 9:30 AM CDT U.S. supermajor Chevron has started work on a preliminary contract with the Iraqi government for the development of oil fields in southern Iraq, Reuters reports, citing Iraq’s Oil Ministry. The memorandum of understanding that gave Chevron the rights to explore for oil in the fields that are owned by Basra Oil Company and Dhi Qar Oil was inked in June. Under the terms of the contract, Chevron will survey and study the fields, and build production facilities to help the two Iraqi state-owned companies boost their operational and financial performance. This would be the first major deal for Chevron in Iraq, although the company has a presence in the autonomous region of Kurdistan, which it had to leave last year after an ill-fated independence referendum led to the central Iraqi government taking control of Kirkuk and the surrounding fields from the Kurds. Chevron returned to Kurdistan in February this year. The company has an 80-percent stake in the Sarta block, where it began drilling one appraisal well last year. Drilling was completed in the second quarter of this year. Iraq boasted an increase in crude oil production to 4.46 million bpd last month, although the figure reported by OPEC secondary sources was lower, at 4.36 million bpd. This was the second largest increase within the cartel for June, after the Saudi production jump of 405,400 bpd, according to the secondary sources—the ones that OPEC uses for calculating quotas and compliance. Iraq also said that its crude oil exports in July hit their highest level since January 2017—at 3.875 million bpd, up by 25,000 bpd from June. Iraq is the second-largest exporter of crude oil in OPEC but it has struggled to boost its production further as it tries to resurrect its economy, embattled by the war and the fight against Islamic State. By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com
    0 replies | 35 view(s)
  • Investors Iraq News's Avatar
    Yesterday, 03:12 PM
    Advertising FeatureRabee Securities Iraq Stock Exchange (ISX) market report (week ending: 20th Aug 2018). Note: ISX will be closed starting from Aug. 21, 2018 to Aug. 26, 2018 due to the religious holiday of Eid Al-Adha. The next session will be held on Monday, Aug. 27, 2018. Please click here to download a table of listed companies and their associated ticker codes. The RSISX index ended the week at IQD736 (+0.9%) / $783 (+0.5%) (weekly change) (-9.3% and -6.3% YTD change, respectively). The number of week traded shares was 0.6bn and the weekly trading volume was IQD1.1bn ($0.9 mn). ISX Company Announcements Al-Harir for Money Transfer (MTAH) will hold an AGM* on Sep. 13, 2018 to discuss and approve 2017 annual financial results and to discuss merging with Al-Ameen Al-Arabiya for Money Transfer. ISX will suspend trading of MTAH starting Sep. 10, 2018. National Chemical & Plastic Industries (INCP) will hold a GA on Sep. 3, 2018 to elect four new private sector representatives and alternative BoD members. The company has been suspended since Jul. 4, 2018 for not disclosing 2017 annual report and 3M18 fin1ancial results. Region Trade Bank (BTRB) will hold an AGM* on Aug. 29, 2018 to discuss and approve 2017 annual financial results. ISX suspended trading of BTRB starting Aug. 20, 2018. Source: Iraq-BusinessNews.com. Post your commentary below.
    0 replies | 39 view(s)
  • investindinar's Avatar
    Yesterday, 01:30 PM
    Could it be that Al Warka has outsourced that function to an independent brokerage firm? That would explain the issue of Al Wasata using an Al Warka domain. I honestly can't say for sure either way. Just my two dinars worth... investindinar
    54 replies | 3787 view(s)
  • crazyfrank's Avatar
    Yesterday, 11:03 AM
    I see your theory does hold some merit, and it could just be that "3044" and Al Wasata are the same e-mail domain responding to you. This "3044" e-mail identity had always struck me as an odd identity, as most Al Warka bank mail destinations in the past had either a employee name, or department identifier such as the "e-bank" or "account services" nomenclature attached to it. This "3044" identifier for e-mail seemed as though they were shielding a destination to me. As far as Al Wasata being an completely new entity goes, I am not 100% on board with that assertion of this being a new sub-division of Al Warka. The only web search results that I can find produce only this one brokerage in Palestine using that name, and they appear to be an independent brokerage firm. Looking at the ISX web site today, I do not see any brokerage listed under the name Al Wasata as being a broker in the ISX. http://www.isx-iq.net/isxportal/portal/brokerListContainer.html Broker List Baghdad Company Al-Abrar Company Baram Al-Khair Company Wahat Al-Nakeel Company International United Company Credit company DarAl-Salam company Al-Sharqiya Company Al-Batek Company Zahrat Alkhalij Company warkaa company Economy Free Company Umal Rabieain Company Elaf Company Okadh Company alKassab Brokerage Company Tameam Company Al-Forat Company Al-Iraq Company Dijila Company North Company Al-Rafidain Company Al-Hayat Company Al-Baraka Company Jawhara Brokerage Company AL jazera Brokerage Company Al-FawzCompany Al-Hikma Company A-Wafa'a Company Al-Hadher Company Al-Nibras Company Rabee Securities Al-Waha Company Kurdistan Company Al-Qidwa Company Atlas Company Al-Aseel Company Al-Karmal Company Babylon Co. Ahli United Company ALhamy Company Naseem Al-Shmal Company Noor Al-Wamidh Company AL-dalmaa AlAthmar Company
    54 replies | 3787 view(s)
  • Investors Iraq News's Avatar
    Yesterday, 03:58 AM
    Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve and its partners continue to pursue the lasting defeat of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria in designated parts of Syria and Iraq, task force officials reported on Monday. Operation Roundup, which began May 1 to accelerate the defeat of ISIS in the Middle Euphrates River Valley and Iraq-Syria border region, has continued to gain ground and remove terrorists from the battlefield through offensive operations coupled with precision coalition strike support, officials said. Between Aug. 13-19, coalition military forces conducted 15 strikes, consisting of 25 engagements, in Iraq and Syria. Strikes in Syria There were no reported strikes conducted in Syria yesterday. On Aug. 18 near Abu Kamal, coalition military forces conducted a strike, destroying two ISIS supply routes. On Aug. 17 near Abu Kamal, coalition military forces conducted a strike, destroying an ISIS logistics hub. On Aug. 16 near Abu Kamal, coalition military forces conducted a strike, destroying an ISIS vehicle. On Aug. 15 near Abu Kamal, coalition military forces conducted two strikes, destroying two ISIS supply routes. On Aug. 14 near Abu Kamal, coalition military forces conducted three strikes, destroying two ISIS command-and-control centers, an ISIS command-and-control support facility and an ISIS supply route. On Aug. 13 near Abu Kamal, coalition military forces conducted three strikes consisting of three engagements against ISIS targets, destroying an ISIS vehicle and two ISIS lines of communication. Strikes in Iraq There were no reported strikes conducted in Iraq yesterday. On Aug. 18 near Rutbah, coalition military forces conducted two strikes consisting of seven engagements against ISIS targets. — Near Rutbah, a strike destroyed an ISIS vehicle. — Near Samarra, a strike destroyed two ISIS-held buildings and an ISIS supply cache. On Aug. 17 near the Hamrin Mountains, coalition military forces conducted a strike consisting of six engagements against ISIS targets, destroying an ISIS-held building and an ISIS vehicle. There were no reported strikes conducted in Iraq Aug. 14-16. On Aug. 13 near the Atshana Mountains, coalition military forces conducted a strike consisting of one engagement against ISIS targets. Additional Strikes On Aug. 12, coalition military forces conducted three strikes consisting of four engagements in Iraq and Syria that were not reported in the previous release: — In Syria near Abu Kamal, coalition military forces conducted a strike, destroying two ISIS lines of communication. — In Iraq near the Hamrin Mountains, coalition military forces conducted a strike, destroying an ISIS supply route. — In Iraq near Tuz, coalition military forces conducted a strike, destroying five ISIS-held buildings. Part of Operation Inherent Resolve These strikes were conducted as part of Operation Inherent Resolve, the operation to destroy ISIS in Iraq and Syria. The destruction of ISIS targets in Iraq and Syria also further limits the group’s ability to project terror and conduct external operations throughout the region and the rest of the world, task force officials said. The list above contains all strikes conducted by fighter, attack, bomber, rotary-wing or remotely piloted aircraft; rocket-propelled artillery; and ground-based tactical artillery, officials noted. A strike, as defined by the coalition, refers to one or more kinetic engagements that occur in roughly the same geographic location to produce a single or cumulative effect. For example, task force officials explained, a single aircraft delivering a single weapon against a lone ISIS vehicle is one strike, but so is multiple aircraft delivering dozens of weapons against a group of ISIS-held buildings and weapon systems in a compound, having the cumulative effect of making that facility harder or impossible to use. Strike assessments are based on initial reports and may be refined, officials said. The task force does not report the number or type of aircraft employed in a strike, the number of munitions dropped in each strike, or the number of individual munition impact points against a target. (Source: US Dept of Defense) Source: Iraq-BusinessNews.com. Post your commentary below.
    0 replies | 38 view(s)
  • Investors Iraq News's Avatar
    Yesterday, 03:58 AM
    By John Lee. Gulf Keystone Petroleum (GKP) has confirmed that a gross payment of $27.0 million ($21.2 million net to GKP) has been received from the Kurdistan Regional Government for Shaikan crude oil sales during May 2018. (Source: GKP) Source: Iraq-BusinessNews.com. Post your commentary below.
    0 replies | 37 view(s)
  • Investors Iraq News's Avatar
    Yesterday, 03:58 AM
    By John Lee. DNO ASA, the Norwegian oil and gas operator, has reported receipt of USD 69.03 million as payment for May*2018 crude oil deliveries to the export market from the Tawke license in the Kurdistan region of Iraq. The funds will be shared by DNO and partner Genel Energy plc pro-rata to the companies’ interests in the license. Separately, a payment of USD 5.99 million has been received net to DNO, representing three percent of gross Tawke license revenues during May, as provided for under the August 2017 receivables settlement agreement with the Kurdistan Regional Government. DNO operates and has a 75 percent interest in the Tawke license, which contains the Tawke and Peshkabir fields. Following regularization of export payments for Tawke license production since February 2016, the Company will no longer make monthly receipts announcements. The Company will instead update the market on export volumes and values as part of its quarterly financial reporting. (Source: DNO) Source: Iraq-BusinessNews.com. Post your commentary below.
    0 replies | 35 view(s)
  • Wolverine's Avatar
    08-20-2018, 05:17 PM
    358 replies | 9581 view(s)
  • Investors Iraq News's Avatar
    08-20-2018, 03:54 AM
    Two former detainees and the father of a man who died in detention have provided details of ill-treatment, torture, and death in facilities run by the Iraqi Interior Ministry in the Mosul area, Human Rights Watch said on Sunday. A detainee held by the ministry’s Intelligence and Counter Terrorism Office in an east Mosul prison from January to May 2018 said he witnessed and experienced repeated torture during interrogations, and saw nine men die there, at least two from the abuse. Another man from Mosul, arrested in March by local police, died during police interrogation in the Mosul police station, his father said. And a man who was held in the Intelligence and Counter Terrorism prison in Qayyarah said he saw other men returning from interrogations with signs of abuse on their bodies. More here. (Source: HRW) Source: Iraq-BusinessNews.com. Post your commentary below.
    0 replies | 48 view(s)
  • Investors Iraq News's Avatar
    08-20-2018, 03:54 AM
    By John Lee. Iraq’s Supreme Court (pictured) has ratified the results of the parliamentary election, which was held in May. According to The National, this gives the winning political parties three months to form a new government. Muqtada al-Sadr has retained his lead. A coalition government needs at least 165 from a total of 329. (Sources: The National, Al Jazeera) Source: Iraq-BusinessNews.com. Post your commentary below.
    0 replies | 51 view(s)
  • Investors Iraq News's Avatar
    08-20-2018, 03:54 AM
    By John Lee. The state-run Basra Oil Company (BOC) has signed a memorandum of understanding with US oil company Chevron to develop oil fields BOC announced the start of the first phase of work and cooperation with Chevron US to develop some oil fields and the establishment of a company. The Director-General pointed out that this project will provide employment opportunities and social services for citizens in the province. (Source: Iraqi Oil Ministry) Source: Iraq-BusinessNews.com. Post your commentary below.
    0 replies | 49 view(s)
  • Investors Iraq News's Avatar
    08-20-2018, 03:54 AM
    By Ahmed Tabaqchali. Originally published by Iraq in Context; re-published by Iraq Business News with permission. Any opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of*Iraq Business News. Current analysis of renewed Iran sanctions*often overlooks the wider context of Iraq’s regional trading relations.*The extent of Iraq’s compliance with US sanctions on Iran has raised concerns regarding the loss of Iranian exports to its economy.*However, Iraq’s trade with Iran, when looked at in the context of the wider region, shows these concerns in a different light. It is arguably smaller than is widely perceived, especially given the long border between the two nations and the supposedly strong influence of Iran in Iraq, something which is contested. There are many variables, following the imposition of sanctions, that will influence Iraq’s economy and trading relationships, making it difficult to examine any change in Iraq-Iran trade in isolation. Some of these variables are China’s response to these sanctions – its continued or increased purchase of Iranian oil or to impose tariffs on US crude- in light of its escalating trade war with the US. Add to this the effects on oil demand from a change in world growth prospects as a result of an intensifying US-China trade war. Balancing or complicating events is the success of Saudi Arabia in sustaining increased oil production, or Iraq’s ability to increase its oil production. Finally, the state of the Turkish economy and the declining value of the Turkish Lira (TL), in light of recent events, will play essential roles given Turkey’s substantial trading relationship with Iraq. Much of the recent coverage of Iran’s trading relationship with Iraq refers to the significant annual exports of USD 12bn- which while significant, should be taken in the framework of Iraq’s overall imports and the trend of these imports from 2003-2017 (chart below). Additionally, Iran’s trade like, all other neighbouring nations’ trade with Iraq, is one-sided to its benefit. Iranian exports to Iraq are made up of goods and services, with the goods element at about USD 6bn for the 12 months ending March 2018, which corresponds to about 15% of Iraq’s imports for 2017. Iraq’s imports exploded six-fold from 2003 until 2013 to satisfy the population’s demand for goods after the isolation of the years under the sanctions. All of Iraq’s neighbours: Turkey, Iran and Jordan saw massive growth of exports to Iraq during this period for all types of goods, from fresh foods to finished products, given the near destruction of Iraq’ capacity to produce during the 14 years of sanctions and the ensuing civil war. Iraqi Imports 2003-2017 * (Source: https://tradingeconomics.com/iraq/imports)Iraq imports peaked in 2013, after which the twin shocks of the ISIS war and the collapse in oil prices crushed the economy and with-it Iraq’s demand for goods. The effects of the ensuing ISIS conflict on overland trade routes affected the relative performance in the following years of each country’s exports. The transit routes and volumes for 2014 (before the full effects of conflict and economic contraction) show the relative importance for each route, not only for the trade with a particular country, but that country’s additional role as a source of re-exports (chart below). In particular, Turaybill for Jordanian exports and re-exports coming from Aqaba, Kuwait’s Safwan, and Basra as a route for world exports as well as for UAE exports and re-exports from Jebil Ali. By 2014 exports from Syria ceased with the exception of the Al Waleed crossing, until it too ended when it fell under ISIS control in May 2015. Trade with Saudi Arabia ended with the invasion of Kuwait in 1990. Iraq: Trade transit routes & volumes 2014 *(Source: Chart taken from a World Bank Report)Iranian exports peaked in absolute terms in 2013, declining by about 6% by 2017, while Iraq’s imports declined by 36%, with the result that Iran increased its market share from 11% in 2013 to 15% in 2017. However, this has more to do with the trade routes than any special relationship that Iraq might have with Iran or Iran’s competitiveness. The ISIS occupation closed Iraq’s trade route with Jordan, Syria and degraded the value of the routes with Turkey given ISIS’s occupation of Mosul and surrounding areas. The growth in Iran’s exports from 2004 is shown in the chart below (data are based on the Iranian calendar up to the year 1395, ending in March 2017). Latest reports indicate that the figure was almost unchanged for the year ending in March 2018. Yet, Iraq’s overall imports recovered by 13% in 2017 vs 2016, and its imports from Jordan and Turkey increased by 8% and 19% respectively. All of which put the relative value of trade with Iran in context. Given Iran’s natural geographical advantages from the long border and its supposed hegemony over Iraq, it can be argued that it should have accounted for much more of Iraq’s imports or at least cemented its conflict enhanced position when Iraq’s imports recovered. Instead it lost market share from 2016 to 2017, implying that it would continue to lose market share without the imposition of sanctions, and as such the sanctions would only accelerate this trend. Iranian exports to Iraq 2004 – 2016 * (Source: http://www.iraqbase.com/trade_with_iraq/iraq_tradition.aspx#c_31)While Turkey’s exports of around USD 12bn in 2013 were twice Iran’s levels, most of these exports were destined for the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI) in which Turkish goods and companies played a significant role in the economic boom the region witnessed until 2014.* The KRI, in 2017, accounted for 67% of all Turkey’s exports to Iraq up from 50% in 2007. Turkish exports to Iraq suffered significantly due to the triple shock to the KRI’s economy – the loss of federal budget transfers, the ISIS conflict and the oil price collapse – as well as from the contraction of the Iraqi economy. Turkish exports declined 36% in 2013-2016 vs a decline of 43% in Iraq’s total imports, increasing its market share from 20% to 22%. The effective gain in market share is more significant than that, as most of these exports were for Iraq overall as opposed to being concentrated in the KRI. Turkish exports’ 18% recovery in 2017 and total imports’ 13% increase vs flat Iranian exports emphasises the competitiveness of Turkey’s exports whether due to quality or currency competitiveness vs the Iranian Rial. Finally, the value of Turkish exports actually increased by about 25% in TL terms, as the TL exchange rate against the USD decreased from TL 2.15 by end of 2013 to TL 3.79 by the end of 2017. All of which underlines the importance to Turkey of its exports to Iraq, especially in light of the 40% decline in the TL vs the USD so far in 2018. The significance of these exports might very well increase Iraq’s bargaining power with Turkey over many issues, particularly the water flow of the Tigris and Euphrates. Iraq’s relative bargaining power is further enhanced by the fees -converted to TL- collected for the oil that is shipped through Turkey to its port of Cihan, especially if Iraq resumes the Kirkuk oil exports of 250,000-300,000 barrels per day (bbl/d) that were cut after it reasserted feral authority over these fields in October 2017. Turkish exports to Iraq 2004 – 2017 * (Source: https://tradingeconomics.com/turkey/exports/iraq)Jordan’s exports and re-exports to Iraq suffered a great deal due to the closure of the land routes as a result of the ISIS occupation and subsequent conflict. The chart below shows a decline of 64% from 2013 to 2016 in Jordan’s exports, and probably a similar decline for re-exports. The mild recovery of 8% by 2017 from 2016’s low levels should be seen in the context that the trade route only reopened in October 2017, which argues well for meaningful growth in 2018. While Jordan’s economy is too small to fully replace Iran’s exports, its fresh foods would fill some of the gap and its much larger re-exports through Aqaba will make a difference. Jordan’s exports to Iraq 2003-2016 * (Source: https://tradingeconomics.com/jordan/exports/iraq)Kuwait’s exports to Iraq recovered meaningfully in 2017 after a decline in 2013-2016, yet overall volumes are small. Most of these are re-exports through Safwan as Kuwait’s ports complement Basra. Kuwait’s exports to Iraq 2003-2017 * (Source: https://tradingeconomics.com/kuwait/exports/iraq)The biggest potential beneficiaries from the sanctions would be Saudi Arabia and the UAE. Developing their relationship and influence in Iraq through trade and investments is magnified without competition from Iranian goods. Their economies would benefit from both the opportunity to replace Iranian products and from a sizeable recovering market. Even though 2016 was a low point for UAE’s total exports to Iraq, exports accounted for 53% of the mix making Iraq the seventh largest export market, while re-exports accounted for 47% of the mix, with Iraq as the fourth largest re-export market.* All of which highlights Iraq’s importance to both the UAE’s economy and its vital re-export business. UAE’s exports to Iraq 2003-2016 * (Source: https://tradingeconomics.com/united-arab-emirates/exports/iraq)Trading with Saudi Arabia ended with the occupation of Kuwait, and while it saw a recovery since 2003, it remained tiny compared to the sizes of the two economies. The re-opening of the Arar border crossing in late 2017, coupled with the re-setting of the relationship, will change this significantly with Saudi expectations that trading values would approach those of Iran in ten years’ time. Saudi Arabia’s exports to Iraq 2003-2016 * (Source: https://tradingeconomics.com/saudi-arabia/exports/iraq)However, there is more to Iraq’s trade with Iran other than its exports of goods, as the relationship includes the export of electricity and gas, as well religious tourism in the form of at least three million religious tourists a year, especially during the annual Arbaeen pilgrimage. Iran’s recent exports of electricity have been about 1.0 gigawatts (GW) increasing available domestic supply to 18.91 GW by end of 2016. However, the supply has been frequently interrupted since 2015 as Iraq has failed to make the required contractual payments to Iran. The supply cut in July 2018 being the latest case – which was a combination of over-due bills of about USD 1bn and Iran’s increased domestic needs for electricity. The argument over the importance of this supply has been made moot as Iran would not be able to resume exports in the near future, due to its own domestic needs. Short-term solutions to replace this lost supply from Kuwait and Saudi Arabia have the potential to become long-term solutions that will further cement the relationship. For instance, Kuwait supplying fuel for some of the inactive power stations would go some way for Iraq to increase the utilization of its available but unutilized generating capacity due to lack of fuel. This relationship could be developed to one of mutual benefits with Kuwait supplying electricity in return for Iraq supplying gas, which while mutually beneficial would help the rebuilding of trust. Similarly, discussions with Saudi Arabia for the supply of electricity, possibly under much more advantageous commercial terms than those with Iran, would further develop this relationship. Much more troublesome and very difficult to replace would be the supply of Iranian gas to power stations in Baghdad and Basra – these were based on deals signed in 2013 to supply 9.1 Billion Cubic Meter (BCM) a year to each city. Exports to Baghdad started in June 2017 and totalled 1.2 BCM by November 2017, while exports to Basra were supposed to start after May 2018.* Both sides have been silent on this recently, as media reports have only covered Iraq’s implementation of the sanctions in the form of banking transactions and closing access to Iranian goods. While details could be delayed until the November implementation of the oil sanctions or Iraq would seek waivers. Either way, there are no easy or short-term solutions for the replacement of this vital supply apart from increased focus and spending on capturing flared gas. However, this gas has been only available recently, and in relatively small quantities, while its eventual replacement, i.e. gas recovered from flaring, is substantially cheaper as the Iraqi government pays the Basra Gas Company (BGC) about USD 2.50 per MMBtu vs for Iranian USD 6.6 – 7.2 per MMBtu (data as of early 2018). Religious tourism is an important sector, employing about 160,000 people directly, extending to 447,000 beneficiaries (2014 data). While, Iranian pilgrims and visitors are an essential component in religious tourism, yet a significant percentage of pilgrims or visitors are Iraqis. Moreover, the importance to Iraq’s economy from the spending of Iran’s pilgrims is somewhat misunderstood or overstated. For instance, during the Arbaeen, Iraqis provide hospitality through offering accommodation in their homes and providing free food as part of their religious duties towards the pilgrims. As such, the extra consumer spending during the most prominent religious event comes from Iraqis. The spending by regular Iranian religious visitors, throughout the year, will not be so easily replaced- although it is mitigated by the fact that almost all those visitors use Iranian airlines and employ Iranian tour operators. Finally, the effects, of the loss of USD access for Iran, on Iraq would take a long time to assess. In 2012, the governor of the Central Bank of Iraq suggested that there were increased demands of 40-50% for the USD following the imposition of sanctions on Syria and Iran, which led to an increase in the market price of the USD vs the Iraqi Dinar (IQD) as can be seen from the chart below. Iraqi Dinar (IQD) exchange rate versus the USD Jan 2011 – August 2018 * (Source: Central Bank of Iraq, Iraqi currency exchange houses, Asia Frontier Capital)(Note: The sharp pikes in 2012, 2013 & 2015 were due to CBI policies that restricted the sale of USD, but abandoned after causing a rise in market rates) The convergence of the market price of the USD and the official exchange rate vs the IQD came to an end in 2011 and diverged in 2012 due to the increased demand for the USD. Apart from the spikes due to policies to limit the official supply of the USD, the normal range was 2-4% premium of the market price over the official rate. This increased up to a 10% premium during the worst of the crisis as oil revenues were substantially below expenditures and exports were less than imports. This divergence came to an end with the recovery in oil prices and the declining cost of war until it stabilized at around 1.5% premium to the official exchange rate. It’s difficult to make the same argument today about the increased demand, or at least a sharp increase, from the current round of sanctions given that the re-integration of Iran with the world economy following the signing of the JCPOA (The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action) still suffered from the reluctance of most banks to deal with Iran. In particular, Iran’s access to the USD continued to be severely limited. All of which might explain that the signing of the JCPOA had not affected the market price of the USD vs the IQD. However, it is worth noting that after a stabilization over the last few months, the premium of the market price over the official rate increased in early August from about 1.5% to over 2%. This might be related to the sanctions effect or to the signs of recovery of the local economy from increased consumer spending and the resultant increase in demand for imports. A full recovery in consumer demand for imported products would likely take the premium to a range of 2-4%. It can be argued, that while Iraq genuinely disapproves of the Iranian sanctions given its own bitter 14 years’ experience with them, yet it stands to benefit from their imposition as they will fast-track a number of positive trends that are already taking place. Iraq’s new-found ability to self-fund its reconstruction, estimated at about USD 18.8bn by end of 2018, will accelerate its economic recovery through a liquidity injection of 14.5% into the non-oil economy once reconstruction projects are underway. In the process making the country extremely attractive for its neighbours’ economies, both as a goods export destination and for re-construction businesses. The opportunity to replace Iranian goods increases the benefit for these exporters. Ultimately, this will cement the USD 30bn pledged for the reconstruction of Iraq at the Kuwait Conference from promises into actual spending that will benefit the economies of the providers as much as Iraq’s economy. The deeper implication is a change in their relationship from that of benefactors into partners which will ensure its sustainability- in the process speeding Iraq’s re-integration in the region and ensure a balanced relationship with its neighbours. The re-opening of the Iraq-Saudi Arabia border crossing and the Iraq-Jordan border crossings will accelerate the rehabilitation of Anbar (arguably disenfranchised after 2003 and a seat of resentment for the post-2003 political order), and the southern governorates (neglected by both the current and the prior regimes). The resumption of trade-links with their associated economic activities would provide a huge boost to the local economies, which while contributing meaningfully to the healing process, will build upon and magnify the economic revival until it becomes self-sustaining with the boost from reconstruction. Meanwhile, the relationship with Iran might mature if the Iranians look beyond their frustration at Iraq’s compliance with the sanctions and listen closely the anti-government sentiment within Iran following the December 2017 demonstrations. What is vital here, and something that would increase stability within Iraq, is a complete rethinking the relationship to that of a state to state basis from the current relationship involving sub-state actors. This would subsequently benefit Iran by making another Iraqi security crisis less likely, and ensuring the relationship is based on national sentiment, rather than non state actors. Disclaimer Ahmed Tabaqchali’s comments, opinions and analyses are personal views and are intended to be for informational purposes and general interest only and should not be construed as individual investment advice or a recommendation or solicitation to buy, sell or hold any fund or security or to adopt any investment strategy. It does not constitute legal or tax or investment advice. The information provided in this material is compiled from sources that are believed to be reliable, but no guarantee is made of its correctness, is rendered as at publication date and may change without notice and it is not intended as a complete analysis of every material fact regarding Iraq, the region, market or investment. The code for Turkish Lira is TYR, but TL is used widely. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Turkish_lira The 12 months ending in March 2018 correspond to the Iranian year 1396. Iranian data are provided using this calendar. *https://financialtribune.com/articles/economy-business-and-markets/81287/iran-third-biggest-trading-partner-of-iraq-with-16-share Al Waleed crossing was freed by Iraqi forces in June 2017. https://www.reuters.com/article/us-mideast-crisis-iraq-syria/iraqi-forces-remove-islamic-state-fighters-from-vicinity-of-u-s-base-in-syria-idUSKBN19807Y http://documents.worldbank.org/curated/en/672671468196766598/pdf/106132-v2-main-report-P159972-PUBLIC-KRG-Economic-Reform-Roadmap-post-Decision-Review-05-30-16.pdf https://www.washingtoninstitute.org/policy-analysis/view/turkey-and-the-krg-signs-of-booming-economic-ties-infographic Arrived at by diving the value of exports by the year end value of the TL. Iraq’s bargaining power is further enhanced if it links this with plans to double Kirkuk’s output over the next few yeaes *The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) exported an average of 550,000 bbl/d in 2017 until October 2017. After which they ranged between about 240,000-370,000 bb/d for an average of 311,000. http://auis.edu.krd/iris/sites/default/files/Statehood in KRI through an Economic Lens_ FINAL.pdf pages 6 & 7, page 7 footnote 15. The #JODIData report is out for the month of May. Let's begin with #SaudiArabia. Once again, we're not on the same page when it comes to exports. They posted a FAR LOWER figure than what we tracked. Off by half a million barrels a day, or >15 million barrels for the month. #OOTT pic.twitter.com/5wtBw3d3Rm — TankerTrackers.com (@TankerTrackers) July 18, 2018 http://www.jordantimes.com/news/local/industrial-exports-iraq-resume-after-border-reopening Although most of Jordan’s exports are currently value-add products. In 2016, Pharmaceutical Products accounted for 16% of total exports, Electrical & Electronic Equipment for 13%; Fertilizers for 12%; plastics for 11%. While Vegetable, Fruits & Nut food preparation accounted for only 2.3%, and Edible Vegetables, certain roots and Tubers accounted for 2.2% for a total under 5%. http://iraqieconomists.net/en/2017/09/19/uae-iraq-trade-touches-7-billion-2016/ https://www.thenational.ae/world/mena/saudi-iraqi-trade-to-reach-23-billion-saudi-riyals-within-10-years-1.706487 https://en.mehrnews.com/news/122562/Iran-to-resume-electricity-exports-to-Iraq-within-weeks Table 3, page 79 ““A New Hope: Iraq Oil’s Way Forward” http://www.bayancenter.org/en/2018/02/1435/ ** Figures from the Ministry of Electricity show that available capacity, was 16.0 GW by end of July 2018, which does not include the lost Iranian supply. https://moelc.gov.iq/index.php?name=News&file=article&sid=4212 This article explains the nature of the relationship and the history of the under-payments https://www.washingtoninstitute.org/policy-analysis/view/the-irgc-may-try-to-divert-iraqs-electricity-payments https://theiranproject.com/blog/2018/07/08/iran-cuts-electricity-supplies-to-iraq-over-unpaid-bills/ https://theiranproject.com/blog/2018/07/17/govt-spox-iran-not-to-resume-electricity-supplies-to-iraq-in-near-future/ https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20170202-kuwait-considers-export-of-electricity-to-iraq/ https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-07-29/iraq-says-saudis-to-sell-it-power-at-a-fraction-of-iran-s-price Page 82 “A New Hope: Iraq Oil’s Way Forward” http://www.bayancenter.org/en/2018/02/1435/ http://www.irna.ir/en/News/82906994 Page 82 “A New Hope: Iraq Oil’s Way Forward” http://www.bayancenter.org/en/2018/02/1435/ http://documents.worldbank.org/curated/en/255111529495871846/pdf/Jobs-in-Iraq-a-primer-on-job-creation-in-the-short-term.pdf http://www.bbc.com/travel/gallery/20171220-the-iraq-city-that-opens-its-doors https://www.alarabiya.net/articles/2012/04/12/207233.html https://www.reuters.com/article/us-iran-banks-kerry-idUSKCN0Y30OJ A recent report by the author covers this in further detail.http://www.iraq-businessnews.com/2018/06/15/forget-the-donations-stupid-new-dynamics-in-funding-reconstruction/ https://uk.reuters.com/article/mideast-crisis-iraq-reconstruction/factbox-pledges-made-for-iraqs-reconstruction-in-kuwait-idUKL8N1Q55RY Source: Iraq-BusinessNews.com. Post your commentary below.
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  • dollarsign's Avatar
    08-19-2018, 12:16 PM
    Release all the news of the past month, then close down for Eid Al Adha? Time for the populace to digest? Bank holiday, hidden in a religious holiday... $
    126 replies | 19402 view(s)
  • dollarsign's Avatar
    08-19-2018, 12:02 PM
    Part One: Assistant General Manager of Operations: First. Fund section: a. Division of arrest and payment: b.Division of documentation and exchange of foreign exchange movements dollar - c. Damaged Currency Replacement Division d. Division of matching fortified rooms and fund $
    126 replies | 19402 view(s)
  • dollarsign's Avatar
    08-19-2018, 11:57 AM
    The issuing department and the cabinets shall perform the following main tasks: Forecast and meet the needs of the Iraqi currency and foreign currencies. Execution of the issuance of the Iraqi currency (paper and metal) after the completion of the contract, including the selection of printing companies and houses, and the operations of shipping and delivery to the stores. Using contemporary methods in managing currency stores, balancing, in terms of fixed and variable costs, between asking for currency in large quantities or in smaller quantities. Execution of the Fund's operations in terms of arrest, payment, documentation, exchange of foreign currency notes, replacement of damaged currency, matching of fortified rooms and funds. Execution of the currency counting and sorting, and determining the canceling currency, using medium machines, and comprehensive machines, while working on the sustainability and maintenance of technical equipment. Executing the operations of the Iraqi currency and foreign currencies, gold, and secretariats, as well as combating counterfeiting and counterfeiting. Ensure the follow-up of banks, matching counting and sorting, and carrying out inspections and monitoring scheduled, sudden and random. https://cbi.iq/news/view/824 the pace of CBI public disclosure is rapid and steady now... $
    126 replies | 19402 view(s)
  • Investors Iraq News's Avatar
    08-19-2018, 04:02 AM
    By John Lee. The state-owned Trade Bank of Iraq (TBI) has reportedly put plans to buy*a Turkish commercial bank on hold because of the fall in the Turkish lira. TBI chairman*Faisal al-Haimus told Reuters that the bank is keen to expand its footprint in Turkey, Iraq’s largest trading partner. According to the report, TBI has assets of around $20 billion, and is responsible around 80 percent of the trade finance business in Iraq. (Source: Reuters) Source: Iraq-BusinessNews.com. Post your commentary below.
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    08-19-2018, 02:44 AM
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    08-18-2018, 05:58 PM
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  • Investors Iraq News's Avatar
    08-18-2018, 05:11 PM
    GardaWorld, a global leader in comprehensive security and risk management, has made its weekly security report available to Iraq Business News readers. Prepared by GardaWorld’s Risk Analysis Team in Iraq, this essential report includes short- and medium-term outlooks on the security situation, reports and commentary on recent significant events, and a detailed overview of developments across the country. Please click here to download the latest report free of charge. For more information on how GardaWorld’s services can support your business in Iraq, please contact Daniel Matthews, Senior Director Iraq, at daniel.matthews@garda.com Source: Iraq-BusinessNews.com. Post your commentary below.
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    08-18-2018, 04:29 PM
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    08-18-2018, 03:54 PM
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    08-18-2018, 04:01 AM
    By John Lee. Iraq and Jordan have signed a*a military-security cooperation agreement. The agreement aims to exchange expertise and information in the field of border protection, developing intelligence capabilities, joint military exercises, research and technology development, combating terrorism in various forms, training and development. (Source: Iraqi Ministry of Defense) Source: Iraq-BusinessNews.com. Post your commentary below.
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  • Investors Iraq News's Avatar
    08-18-2018, 04:01 AM
    From AFP. Any opinions expressed are those of the authors, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News. Iraqis in the holy city of Najaf are being hit hard by US sanctions on neighbouring Iran, which have forced cash-strapped pilgrims to stay at home. View on YouTube Source: Iraq-BusinessNews.com. Post your commentary below.
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    08-18-2018, 01:49 AM
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