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  • BatmaninIraq's Avatar
    Today, 09:32 AM
    What's the use of coins at the moment Economy | 08:10 - 20/08/2019 BAGHDAD - Mawazine News commented member of the Iraqi Economic Council Sadiq al - Mashat, on the statements of the Parliamentary Finance Committee on the Iraqi government 's quest to re - work coins. Al-Mashat said in a statement received / Mawazine News / a copy of it, that "the Iraqi government going at the moment to re-work coins is not positive because the financial developments in most countries of the world go to electronic currencies," indicating that "the work of electronic currencies in Iraq has been in great demand during Last few years. " He added: "More useful to the state is to reduce the use of currencies in general and urged the Iraqi consumer to pay electronically," indicating that "this measure provides the state the value of minting coins and the value of printing paper currency." Al-Mashat called through the statement to "the importance of working in electronic currency rather than return to cash and metal," noting that "electronic currency can include small cash categories from one fils to one dinar and thus numbers upward for small cash categories." Al-Mashat said, "The banknotes will disappear after 30 years because of the high demand for electronic currency." The "Finance Committee in the Iraqi Council of Representatives announced on Monday (19-August-2019) the" government direction to reinstate the currency and delete zeros from paper currency in order to strengthen the national economy.
    12 replies | 740 view(s)
  • Investors Iraq News's Avatar
    Today, 12:55 AM
    By*Mustafa Saadoun for Al Monitor. Any opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News. Former Iraqi premier opens up about PMU, new PM, IranAl-Monitor’s correspondent in Iraq*interviewed former Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi at his family residence within the Green Zone in the capital Baghdad. There, he holds meetings of the Victory Alliance and*hosts guests. Abadi discussed many topics including his relationship with the Popular Mobilization Units (PMU),*the government of his successor Adil Abdul Mahdi,*the possibility of Iraq mediating between Washington and Tehran and*Israel’s*targeting of the PMU. Abadi warned against damaging carefully balanced ties between the Iraqi federal government and Iraq’s Kurdistan region because of*power conflicts. He also commented on the PMU*accusing him of serving the intersts*of the United States. Click here to read the full story. Source: Iraq-BusinessNews.com. Post your commentary below.
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  • Investors Iraq News's Avatar
    Yesterday, 10:13 AM
    By John Lee. The National Investment Commission (NIC) has announced the following investment opportunities: Chlorine production plant – State Company for Mining (Source: National Investment Commission) (Picture: Business opportunity word cloud, from ibreakstock/Shutterstock) Source: Iraq-BusinessNews.com. Post your commentary below.
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  • Investors Iraq News's Avatar
    Yesterday, 10:13 AM
    The interior ministers of Iran and Iraq signed an agreement to implement plans to facilitate the Arbaeen pilgrimage to Iraq, including one on reopening the Khosravi border crossing. Iranian Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli and his Iraqi counterpart Yassin Al Yasiri met in Tehran on Saturday and signed a memorandum of understanding to facilitate the Arbaeen pilgrimage to Iraq by Iranian travelers. Based on the MoU, the two sides agreed to reopen the Khosravi border crossing and remove visa restrictions for pilgrims planning to visit Iraq for the Arbaeen ritual ceremony. Iran and Iraq also agreed to raise the level of services and facilities for the pilgrims and enhance border security during the Arbaeen season, which will culminate in a large gathering in Karbala on October 19. Arbaeen, one of the largest religious gatherings in the world, comes 40 days after Ashura, the martyrdom anniversary of the third Shiite Imam. Each year, a huge crowd of Shiites flock to the Iraqi city of Karbala, where the holy shrine of Imam Hussein (AS) is located, to perform mourning rites. (Source: Tasnim, under Creative Commons licence) Source: Iraq-BusinessNews.com. Post your commentary below.
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  • Investors Iraq News's Avatar
    08-19-2019, 10:36 PM
    By Ahmed Mousa Jiyad. Any opinions expressed are those of the authors, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News. The Ministry of Oil and the “Odious Contract’ Trap” with ExxonMobil’ ConsortiumTalks have intensified recently about the continuation of negotiations between the Ministry of Oil (MoO) and ExxonMobil/CNPC consortium that might lead to the signing of a contract for the “South Iraq Integrated Project (SIIP)” at an estimated cost of $53 billion and a duration of 30 years, but no official confirmation or indications on the fundamental contractual provisions that were agreed on and those still pending. In the light of the available information, material evidence, actual examples, international geopolitical considerations and comparative analysis, a detailed evidence-based research and Report* was done on the project and related negotiation. The report on SIIP’ possible contract comprises: A necessary introduction and caveat; Political and geopolitical implications of ExxonMobil behavior and its apparent link to the “deep state” based on many evidences that actually and factually had negative consequences on oil projects, for example, in Russia and in Iraq. In Russia, ExxonMobil caused a delay of almost four years in the development of the Pobeda oil discovery in the Kara Sea when ExxonMobil withdrew, in late 2014, from its deal with Rosneft due to imposing US sanctions on Russia. Iraq had three bad experiences with this company in recent years. The first, when ExxonMobil negotiated secretly and concluded, against declared government policy, deals with KRG in 2011 soon after the company secured West Qurna 1 contract through first bid round with the federal ministry. That move led to excluding ExxonMobil from leading Common Seawater Supply Project (CSSP), reduce its Participating Interest in WQ1 and blacklisting it from any upstream project. The second and third bad experience occurred this year when the company evacuated, unilaterally and without government consent, all its foreign staff from WQ1. All these three incidents caused tremendous damage to Iraqi economic interest. Potential strategic risks, of an enormous scale, on SIIP that could be generate from the growing deterioration of the American-China relations as evidenced from the blacklisting of two major state oil companies, i.e. Zhuhai Zhenrong Corp and Sinopec. US escalating tension against Iran adds further geopolitical risks; Analyses of what would be SIIP contract was premised on what was reported by national and international sources that are originally based on information given by unnamed Iraqi officials. That was due to the absence of clarity and lack of transparency of the ministry regarding essential contractual terms and conditions. Based on the analyses and findings of the report, I am compelled to clearly alert and strongly, frankly and loudly warn both the Prime Minister and the Minister of Oil of the danger of pushing Iraq into a “trap of an odious contract” and by specifying ten of its most grave risks and disadvantages: ExxonMobil, as the consortium leader, is granted a monopoly position that allows the company directly controlling all vital oil projects in southern Iraq, and thus the entire national economy, for thirty years; It poses a multiplicity of major threats to national security and economic interest due to what can be called contractually-connected high strategic and geopolitical risks, since SIIP comprises many critical and vital projects such as Common Seawater Supply project-CSSP (for water injection), pipelines, storage tank-farms, export facilities, gas processing units and two oilfields; It contravenes the fundamental premises of the Iraqi Constitution because the contract requires “mortgaging/ reserving/ booking” two oilfields, with a combined plateau production of 500kbd, exclusively for the two foreign oil companies, i.e. ExxonMobil and CNPC, for the entire term of the contract- 30 years; It offers “Profit-Sharing Contract”, which, in reality, represents the monetary side of a “Production Sharing Contracts”, which, is impermissible by the Constitution; The announced astronomical cost (of $30bilion) increased already by $11billion in less than ten weeks while negotiating!; It offers all rent (windfall) resulting from oil price increases exclusively to the two foreign companies, nothing for Iraq!; It prevents SOMO (the only State Oil Marketing Company) from performing its role in marketing crude oil from the “mortgaged” two oilfields; this contravenes established policy, undermines annual state budget laws and weakens almost 50 years of SOMO’s function; It reduces the “national efforts” in the development of oilfields, thus, contradicting declared Ministry policy, weakens Iraq’s flexibility to comply with OPEC decisions through “swing fields”; Inconsistent with the regulations for tendering and contracting government projects; It lacks both transparency and competitiveness. Therefore, I suggested to the Ministry of Oil not to continue on wasting time and causing further delays: it should officially declare that it is not in Iraq’s economic interest and national security to award SIIP to ExxonMobil-CNPC (and for this matter to any one consortium) and end, immediately, all and any related negotiations. In the event that the Ministry of Oil and/or the Government insist on going ahead with this Odious Contract with ExxonMobil-CNPC, it becomes inevitable to refer the matter to the Federal Supreme Court to invalidate the contract on the bases of incompatibility with the Constitution; for eradicating the highest interest of the Iraqi people, including future generations (principle of inter-generational equity) *and for returning Iraq to what looks like abhorrent concessions of the, colonial, past. *A brief of the original Arabic text of the entire report was circulated widely within many networks and was published by and posted on many websites, and accessible on the following links: ????? ?? ????? ????? ?? “?? ????? ??????” ?? ???? ????? ???? https://www.akhbaar.org/home/2019/8/261291.html http://www.tellskuf.com/index.php/mq/83987-as174.html http://www.sahat-altahreer.com/?p=49115 Click here to download the full article in pdf format. Mr Jiyad is an independent development consultant, scholar and Associate with the former Centre for Global Energy Studies (CGES), London. He was formerly a senior economist with the Iraq National Oil Company and Iraq’s Ministry of Oil, Chief Expert for the Council of Ministers, Director at the Ministry of Trade, and International Specialist with UN organizations in Uganda, Sudan and Jordan. He is now based in Norway (Email: mou-jiya(at)online.no, Skype ID: Ahmed Mousa Jiyad). Read more of Mr Jiyad’s biography here. Source: Iraq-BusinessNews.com. Post your commentary below.
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  • BatmaninIraq's Avatar
    08-19-2019, 08:27 PM
    Parliamentary Finance Committee intends to raise the price of the dinar against the dollar and give it strength among other currencies Walter 2 hours ago Advertisements 10 hours ago Iraq Dollar and local Iraqi currency A member of the Parliamentary Finance Committee Abdul Hadi Saadawi said in a statement on Monday, August 19, 2019, that the Finance Committee will work to raise the price of the dinar against the dollar and give it strength among other currencies in the Arab world, or at least maintain the current exchange rate to have monetary power within Local market. The Finance Committee in the House of Representatives revealed that there is a tendency to reintroduce the coin, which has been used for decades in the country, while members of the Committee proposed to pre-empt the coin minting process by “deleting zeros” from the current currencies to be valuable to the small cash categories. Committee member Hanin al-Qadu told Al-Sabah semi-official newspaper on Monday, 19 August 2019, that during meetings and discussions with central bank officials, we stressed the need to reintroduce coins that have been used in Iraq during the past decades, rather than Paper that is damaged and printed in large quantities again. He added, that the use of metal categories and their descent for trading gives a notional value of the currency, noting that a number of neighboring countries exchange rates are very high against the dollar and yet we find that it has a coin in order to preserve the currency and not need to request more banknotes, especially those with small categories . He expressed surprise at the policy of the Central Bank, which does not favor the introduction of coins for circulation in the Iraqi market. For his part, a member of Parliamentary Finance Majid al-Waeli readiness of the Committee to prepare any legislation required by the Central Bank, which could benefit the economy and the Iraqi market, including the circulation of coins. Al-Waeli told Al-Sabah that the committee respects the independence of the central bank and its monetary policy, stressing that the bank has technical autonomy by decision regardless of administrative affairs. While member of the Committee Jamal Cougar, that all countries in the Middle East and the world have a coin, indicating that this type of currency gives strength to its economy. Cougar told Al-Sabah that he hoped that the concerned parties could strengthen the currency so that the small groups could have purchasing power in case of using coins. Committee member Ahmed al-Saffar said that the cost of the coin is more than paper, and that it is harder to carry on the citizen. Al-Saffar told Al-Sabah that inflation in the economy prevents the minting of coins and makes them circulate among citizens, suggesting that there be a step to delete the zeros preceding the coinage process to be a value for small groups against. It is noteworthy that on 19/12/2018 Hoshyar Abdullah, a member of the Parliamentary Finance Committee MP from the change bloc that the Ministry of Finance did not make any adjustments to oil prices and the sale of oil prices and the dinar against the dollar in the draft budget for the year 2019. Abdullah wrote on his official page on the social networking site Elvis, that an official letter arrived from the Federal Ministry of Finance to the Council of Ministers, where he kept the price of a barrel of oil at $ 56 and kept the proportion of crude oil daily export by 3.88 million barrels, and the region must export 250,000 barrels of these The rate, pointing out that the Ministry of Finance also kept the price of one dollar against 1182 dinars as it was in the previous draft .. Abdullah said that the new draft of the general budget does not differentiate from its predecessor and there are no amendments and that Shiites, Sunnis and Kurds did not approve the previous draft and the new amendments do not solve the problems of any of those parties and parties. Majid Shankali, a member of the Parliamentary Economy and Investment Committee, said earlier that the Central Bank’s recent procedures for selling the dollar in the public auction contributed to raising the value of the dollar against the dinar. Trying to harm the national currency for their own benefit. Shankali added that the central bank is required to take supportive measures for the Iraqi dinar and to fight those who tamper with the security of the national economy, because the country’s interest is above all else. Shankali demanded, the government to accelerate the development of the banking and industrial sector, especially what we note these days there is a significant rise in the price of the dollar against the Iraqi dinar, as he put it, calling for investment law legislation to help bring international companies to Iraq to develop infrastructure, while attributed the parliamentary finance earlier The decline in the exchange rate of the dinar against the dollar to the decline of financial revenues belonging to the state from oil sales, indicating that oil was sold at more than $ 100 a barrel and today its price has reached below $ 50 and this means that the revenues decreased by 50%, which affected the exchange rate National. The Parliamentary Economy Committee said earlier that it discussed with the Central Bank Governor Ali Alaq the main reasons for the decline in the exchange rate of the dinar and effective solutions to the return of stability, noting that the central bank will take new measures to maintain the hard currency and the return of the stability of the exchange rate of the dinar against the dollar, stressing that the sale price The dollar in accordance with Article 50 of the budget reflected negatively on the Iraqi citizen pushed the Finance Committee to demand pumping dollars in the market. On June 27, 2019, as the FATF Financial Action Task Force (FATF) gave Iran until June of the same year to tighten its laws on terrorist financing and anti-money laundering, there was uncertainty about the actual sources of funding. Star Four, a Texas-based organization, reported on Feb. 13, 2012 that Iran was systematically stealing large quantities of Iraqi oil in the south, and that the thefts had helped the Iranian government overcome its plight as a result of the international economic embargo.
    12 replies | 740 view(s)
  • BatmaninIraq's Avatar
    08-19-2019, 10:38 AM
    Guide to re-work coin Political | 09:19 - 19/08/2019 BAGHDAD - Mawazine News A member of the Finance Committee Hanin al-Qadu, Monday, that the use of metal categories and sent down for circulation gives a notional value of the currency. "During meetings and discussions with Central Bank officials, we stressed the need to re-operate the coins that have been used in Iraq over the past decades, rather than the paper that is being destroyed," al-Qadu said. He added that "the use of metal categories and their descent for circulation gives a notional value to the currency," noting that "a number of neighboring countries - exchange rates are very high against the dollar - and yet we find that it has a coin in order to preserve the currency and not need to request more papers Cash, especially in small categories. " Al-Qadu expressed his surprise at the "policy of the Central Bank, which does not favor the introduction of coins for circulation in the Iraqi market."
    12 replies | 740 view(s)
  • Investors Iraq News's Avatar
    08-18-2019, 12:53 AM
    By Omar Sattar for Al Monitor. Any opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.* *Oil, budgets, Kirkuk still nag Baghdad-Erbil relationsMeetings last month between representatives of Iraq’s federal government in Baghdad and the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) in Erbil failed to produce any clear resolutions of their ongoing*differences. A high-level delegation from*the Baghdad government*visited Erbil on July 25 for talks with the newly elected government there.*Discussions focused on KRG oil exports, its share of the federal budget*and control of disputed, oil-rich Kirkuk. The Baghdad representatives included Oil Minister Thamer Ghadhban*and Finance Minister Fouad Hussein,*national security adviser Faleh al-Fayadh and the director of the prime minister’s office, Mohammed al-Hashemi. Click here to read the full story. Source: Iraq-BusinessNews.com. Post your commentary below.
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  • Investors Iraq News's Avatar
    08-17-2019, 08:25 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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  • Investors Iraq News's Avatar
    08-17-2019, 12:58 AM
    By John Lee. The economic agreements signed between Kuwait and Iraq have recently raised concerns among Iraqi experts, who warned against “political courtesy” at the expense of the country’s interests in relation to the proposed free trade zone on the border between the Iraqi city of Basra and Kuwait. A member of the Council of Basra, Mohamed Al-Fatlawi, expressed reservations about the idea of ??establishing a free trade zone between Iraq and Kuwait, insisting his opposition stemmed “from the simple reason that it will negatively affect the Iraqi Port of Al-Faw, which is being constructed on the waters of the Arabian Gulf”. He explained that “the goods imported by Iraq from Kuwait are two hundred times more than those exported by Iraq to Kuwait”. “The presence of a free economic zone means that the port is no longer useful,” Al-Fatlawi lamented, adding that: “The ships come to Mubarak Al-Kabeer Port in Kuwait and are unloaded there, but arrive at the free zone without paying any fees. So, it will be cheaper than coming through Al-Faw Port where tariffs are imposed.” Jamal Al-Mohammadawi, a member of the Oil and Energy Committee, also said that the free zone could have a negative impact on the Port of Al-Faw. “We will recommend that the government take this issue into account, so that there won’t be any agreements at the expense of trade and import from Iraqi ports,” the New Arab reported Al-Mohammadawi as saying yesterday.” The committee member added: “This year an amount of $400 million has been allocated from the budget to complete the Port of Al-Faw, and if the issue of the free zone is not dealt with, the ships and boats will come to the Kuwaiti port of Mubarak and take the corridor through Kuwait to the market or free zone directly, without the need to complete their way and reach the Iraqi Port of Al-Faw.” (Source: Middle East Monitor) Source: Iraq-BusinessNews.com. Post your commentary below.
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  • Will-it-happen?'s Avatar
    08-16-2019, 05:10 PM
    Any further updates on the capital increase?
    116 replies | 26496 view(s)
  • Investors Iraq News's Avatar
    08-16-2019, 03:41 AM
    By John Lee. A Scottish sweet manufacturer is reportedly seeing sales of its fudge and toffee surge in Iraqi Kurdistan. According to a BBC report, Golden Casket linked up with Sulaymaniyah-based businessman Farhad Haseb to sell the confectionery to upmarket stores in Erbil and Dohuk, as well as other towns and cities in the region. The holiday of Eid al-Adha has proved to be a strong driver of sales for the business, with Iraq now being Golden Casket’s third biggest export market, after America and Ireland. More here. (Source: BBC) Source: Iraq-BusinessNews.com. Post your commentary below.
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  • Investors Iraq News's Avatar
    08-15-2019, 01:03 AM
    By John Lee. Spartan Air Academy Iraq LLC, Irving, Texas, has been awarded a $31,477,060 task order, against indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for continued Air Academy training in support of the Iraqi Air Force. Work will be performed at Balad Air Base, Iraq, and is expected to be completed by July 8, 2020. This award is the result of a country-directed sole-source acquisition. (Source: US Dept of Defense) Source: Iraq-BusinessNews.com. Post your commentary below.
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  • Investors Iraq News's Avatar
    08-15-2019, 01:03 AM
    By John Lee. Shares in Philippines-based International Terminal Container Services Inc. (ICTSI), which operates the Basra Gateway Terminal (BGT) (pictured) at the port of Umm Qasr, have closed up more than 6 percent on Wednesday following a strong set of results. The company said in a statement: “Net income attributable to equity holders of US$128.5 million grew by 42 percent compared to the US$90.2 million earned in the same period last year mainly due to improved operating income contribution from the terminals in Iraq, Australia, Democratic Republic of Congo and Subic in the Philippines.” (Source: ICTSI) Source: Iraq-BusinessNews.com. Post your commentary below.
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  • Investors Iraq News's Avatar
    08-15-2019, 01:03 AM
    By John Lee. Iraq’s Oil Ministry has confirmed that the Al-Sumoud refinery in Baiji is operating at capacity, following a fire in the area. The director general of the North Refineries Company (NRC), Qassem Abdul Rahman, said the fire was near the refinery but not in it. He pointed out that: “The fire that broke out in the vicinity of the Sumoud refinery in Baiji because of the fall of one of the transmission lines of electricity on abandoned agricultural land near the refinery and led to the movement of wind, set fire to dry grass … The fire was outside the refinery’s perimeter and did not affect its production.” (Source: Ministry of Oil) (Picture: Baiji refinery) Source: Iraq-BusinessNews.com. Post your commentary below.
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  • Wolverine's Avatar
    08-14-2019, 10:10 PM
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  • Wolverine's Avatar
    08-14-2019, 04:34 PM
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    08-14-2019, 04:33 PM
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  • BatmaninIraq's Avatar
    08-14-2019, 07:18 AM
    8-13-2019 Newshound Guru EHankins Article: "An Iraqi passenger arrested in Al-Shalamjah port in possession of 2.5 million dinars." In my opinion this person knows that the dinar is about to Skyrocket in price real soon ...why take a trip now and pay the expense for a long stay out of country ...
    5 replies | 1043 view(s)
  • Investors Iraq News's Avatar
    08-14-2019, 01:18 AM
    By John Lee. Abu Dhabi National Energy Company PJSC (TAQA) has announced that the group’s oil and gas business delivered strong performance with an 11% increase in revenue, mainly driven by increased production volumes from its assets in Europe and Iraq. In its financial results and operational highlights for the six-month period ending June 30, 2019, it said its overall capex also rose to AED 957 million in the first six months of 2019, a 15% increase when compared to the same period in 2018. “The increase in Oil and Gas capex was largely driven by the AED 116 million acquisition of an additional 7.5% working stake in the Atrush Block from Marathon Oil Kurdistan B.V. in May of this year. The acquired stake increases TAQA’s working interest in the project from 39.9% to 47.4%. “Additional capex in Iraq was focussed towards bringing new wells on stream and the impact of debottlenecking work to increase the capacity of the current production facility. This has proven to be a worthwhile investment, with TAQA’s entitlement production increasing to 5,728 boe/d in H1 2019, a 149% improvement compared to the previous year.” It added that this has proven to be a worthwhile investment, with TAQA’s entitlement production increasing to 5,728 boe/d in H1 2019, a 149% improvement compared to the previous year. The average production by the oil and gas business for the first half of the year increased 3% to 124,760 boe/d, aided by strong well performance in Europe and Iraq. Commenting on the positive performance, Saeed Mubarak Al Hajeri, Chairman of TAQA, said: “Our solid performance in H1 2019 is underpinned by our strong operational performance.* The Group’s balance sheet remains healthy, and with stable revenues and a further reduction in debt coupled with strong liquidity we remain on course to meet our long term objectives. The recent ratings affirmation from Moody’s is a testament to the stability of our operational performance. “We also made exciting progress in advancing our strategy of maintaining capital discipline with focused investments in our core assets, such as the Atrush Block. Looking ahead, we remain optimistic and believe that our investments in the UAE and other strategic markets will contribute to a sustained growth story.” (Source: TAQA) Source: Iraq-BusinessNews.com. Post your commentary below.
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  • Investors Iraq News's Avatar
    08-14-2019, 01:18 AM
    By John Lee. The Mandali border crossing between Iraq with Iran has reported been closed following an order from Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abdul Mahdi’s office. Reports say the move was in response to allegations of corruption and mismanagement. (Source: hathalyoum) Source: Iraq-BusinessNews.com. Post your commentary below.
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  • Investors Iraq News's Avatar
    08-13-2019, 01:04 AM
    Fruit prices plummeted considerably during the summer harvest season in the Kurdistan Region, so much so that the price of harvesting the fruits and transporting them to wholesale markets sometimes outweighs their sale price. In the past, farmers used to dry these fruits and sell them that way to make a profit. But nowadays, 95 percent of the dried fruit available in Kurdistan Region markets is imported, and this has discouraged local farmers from drying their fruits to avoid financial loss during the harvest season. Click here to read the full story from Rudaw. Source: Iraq-BusinessNews.com. Post your commentary below.
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  • Investors Iraq News's Avatar
    08-13-2019, 01:04 AM
    By*Mustafa Saadoun for Al Monitor. Any opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News. Is positive sentiment toward Israel on the rise in Iraq?Israeli Foreign Minister Yisrael Katz (pictured) expressed his gratitude to Iraqis on Facebook July 24, stating he was thankful for Iraqi participation on the Israeli Foreign Ministry’s “Israel in Iraqi Dialect” Facebook page. The message came on the first anniversary of the creation of the page, which gained notoriety last July for its broadcasting*that a delegation of unnamed Iraqi journalists had visited Israel. Click here to read the full story. Source: Iraq-BusinessNews.com. Post your commentary below.
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  • Wolverine's Avatar
    08-12-2019, 09:58 PM
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  • Investors Iraq News's Avatar
    08-12-2019, 03:02 AM
    By John Lee. The National Investment Commission (NIC) has announced the following investment opportunities: Rehabilitation of 8 factories – State Company for Glass and Refractories Industry (SCGR) (Source: National Investment Commission) (Picture: Business opportunity word cloud, from ibreakstock/Shutterstock) Source: Iraq-BusinessNews.com. Post your commentary below.
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  • Investors Iraq News's Avatar
    08-12-2019, 01:01 AM
    By Adnan Abu Zeed for Al Monitor. Any opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News. Iraqi Minister of Trade Mohammed Hashim al-Ani*announced July 5*that the ministry received about 4*million tons of local wheat, a step that signals the country is ready to achieve self-sufficiency in this strategic crop. This comes despite the*fires that hit*agricultural fields across Iraq and*ravaged 40,000 acres*(16,000 hectares) of land. Click here to read the full article. Source: Iraq-BusinessNews.com. Post your commentary below.
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  • Investors Iraq News's Avatar
    08-11-2019, 10:38 PM
    By Ahmed Tabaqchali, CIO of Asia Frontier Capital (AFC) Iraq Fund. Any opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News. The market’s action in July was so quiet that it turned activities like watching paint dry into spectator sports, as the start of the peak summer and holiday season depressed trading volumes. Nonetheless, the average daily turnover’s decline of ?15% month-on-month did not erase the turnover gains made in the prior two months, small as they were. For the month, the market, as measured by the Rabee Securities RSISX USD Index (RSISUSD), was down ?4.40% and down ?3.97% for the year. The highlight of the month, though, was the release of the latest IMF country report for Iraq, in which the IMF updated its estimates, last made in the summer of 2017, for both the future economic outlook and for the last few years. The changes to its GDP growth estimates for the crisis years 2014-2017 were as follows: Year 2014 2015 2016 2017 Old estimates +0.7% +4.8% +11.0% -0.4% New estimates +0.7% +2.5% +15.2% -2.5% While estimates for the years following the conflict changed as follows: Year 2018 2019 2020 2021 Old estimates +2.9% +1.7% +2.0% +2.1% New estimates -0.6% +4.6% +5.3% +2.6% The main takeaway is that the crisis years were, on the whole, weaker than initially expected. While, 2018, the first year following the conflict, was the second year of a deep recession with a contraction of -0.6% on the back of the prior year’s -2.5% decline, instead of being a first year of an economic recovery, at +2.9%, following a shallower decline of -0.4%* -a message telegraphed by companies listed on the Iraq Stock Exchange (ISX) over the last two years. On the other hand, the expected recovery in 2019/2020 would be much stronger than estimated earlier with GDP growing at +4.6%/+5.3% instead of +1.7%/+2.0%. Higher oil exports and the improved oil pricing environment, over the last two years, resulted in much higher government revenues, than estimated earlier, from 2017 onwards. This, with a long lag, is initially translating into increased consumer spending in 2019, given that the government employs over 50% of the working population. This, would then, be followed by the government’s investment spending powering the non-oil economy. Subsequently, the IMF’s new assumptions on non-oil GDP growth rates are crucial for the economy and the stock market. The IMF’s estimates for the severe contraction in non-oil GDP during the crisis years changed as follows: Year 2014 2015 2016 2017 Old estimates -3.9% -9.6% -8.1% +1.5% New estimates -3.9% -14.4% +1.3% -0.6% Accordingly, the downward trajectory in 2015 was much steeper at ?14.4% than earlier estimates of ?9.6%, while the stability expected for 2017 was, instead, a double dip recession following the bounce in 2016. Also, the contraction lasted longer at four years than earlier expectations of three years. While estimates for the years following the conflict changed as follows: Year 2018 2019 2020 2021 Old estimates +2.0% +3.0% +3.9% +4.0% New estimates +0.8% +5.4% +5.0% +4.1% Confirming the earlier message that 2018 was the second year in a contraction with the non-oil GDP dragging the overall GDP down, negating the strong contributions of higher oil prices and exports to the overall GDP growth. Subsequently, the expected recovery for 2019/2020 would be much stronger at +5.4%/+5.0% versus earlier estimates of +3.0%/+3.9%. The changes, for outlook for non-oil GDP growth, are consistent with the analysis, made here over the last few months, on the drag on the economy in 2018 and early 2019 as a result of the political paralysis before, during, and after the May 2018 parliamentary elections. A paralysis that would have ended in March as the 2019 budget was only passed into law in late February 2019. Furthermore, the IMF estimates that non-oil investment spending for 2019 would be about USD 11.25bln, or an +8.5% stimulus to the new non-oil GDP estimate for 2019. It’s unlikely, that the government would be able to spend all of the budgeted amount in 2019, given the slow nature of investment spending, and the government’s historic under-execution of such spending. Which probably explains the IMF’s estimates for investment spending at about 13.5% less than that projected by the 2019 government budget. (Source: IMF, country reports no. 17/251 and 19/248, Asia Frontier Capital)On the heels of the new IMF report, the Ministry of Finance (MoF) data as of May, show a month-on-month growth in investment spending of +20%, but from a very small base, as the January-May investment spending is only about 8% of the non-oil investment spending budget of USD 11.25bln. Implying that most of the estimated +5.4% growth in non-oil GDP for 2019 would be backend loaded, and thus a much stronger growth is anticipated in the second half of 2019 than the first half. It will likely accelerate further in 2020, as the unfinished spending for 2019 spills over into 2020. The government has considerable firepower at its disposal to continue investment spending, even as it continues to under-execute, as the same MoF data for May shows a further growth in budget surplus for 2019 at USD 3.3bln, for a cumulative 29-month surplus of USD 26.5bln. As postulated here in the past, this investment spending which started with a trickle in 2019, should grow as the full spending gets underway, carrying over into 2020, and ultimately would lead to a sustained economic recovery in line with the new IMF’s future outlook, or probably somewhat higher given the multiplier effects of such spending. The news from the corporate world supports the economic picture painted by the IMF as evidenced from a number of corporate earnings reports for the second quarter. Pepsi bottler, Baghdad Soft Drinks (IBSD), continued its strong growth with revenues for the six months in 2019 up +3% over the same period in 2018, with its pre-tax profits for the same period up +9%. Telecom operators AsiaCell Communications (TASC) and Zain Iraq (TZNI) reported increased customers by 6% and 4% respectively for the six months in 2019 versus the same period in 2018. However, both revenues and earnings continued, for the same period, to show an industry in the early stages of recovery with TASC having flat revenues but earnings before interest depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) down ?9%, while TZNI reported revenues declining ?6% and EBITDA up +13%. Both companies cited increased competition and marketing costs. Bank of Baghdad’s (BBOB) second quarter (Q2) numbers, marked a bank following through with the recovery that began in 2018, which, while confirming the initial signs of a gradual recovery in the sector, also disappointed local speculators who were hoping for a repeat performance of the first quarter (Q1). Deposits continued to grow at +4.3% for the first half of 2019 versus the same period in 2018, while credit growth continued to be negative at ?1.4%- which is a slower rate compared with the past- and led to a drop of ?27.1% in net interest income. FX income recovered +57.0%, which is an easy comparison given the severe drop seen in the same period in 2018, but nevertheless pointing to a stabilization in this income source. Commission income, continuing to rise in importance, was up +21.3%. Net income, while up +983% in the period or at over 10x the figure for the same period in 2018, while very healthy, was mostly achieved in Q1. Therfore, while Q2’s net income showed continued growth, it nevertheless poured cold water over speculative hopes for the bank to resume dividend payments for 2018’s earnings. It was these hopes that led to a +62.5% rally in the stock in May, which soon moderated to a decline of ?12.8% in June, and declined a further ?17.6% in July as the bank confirmed in its AGM that it would not pay dividends for the year. The stock’s closing price in July, is still up +16.6% from the April close before it started its wild three-month ride. While, BBOB pulled the other leading banks up with it in May, it did not drag them lower in June and July which is very different from the market’s responses to such disappointments in 2018. That time all banks were painted by the same brush, which shows a market that has begun to discriminate showing it has likely bottomed or is making a bottom. Trading activity in August will likely continue to be in-line with that of July’s activity, as it is part of the peak of the summer season and will include the second Eid holiday break of the year. While, there is no new source of liquidity in the market, and local speculators continue to dominate activity, foreign investors have been consistent net buyers over the last few of months in a marked contrast from the picture for most of the prior months as the chart below shows. Index of net foreign activity on the Iraq Stock Exchange (ISX)(Source: Iraq Stock Exchange (ISX), Asia Frontier Capital)The extension of the June pull-back in July, continues to suggests the beginning of a consolidation phase, which would need a significant recovery in turnover before a recovery can become sustainable and for the market, as measured by the Rabee Securities RSISX USD Index (RSISUSD), to claw back some of the ?70.5% decline from the peak in early 2014 to July’s 2019 closing levels. Please click here to download Ahmed Tabaqchali’s full report in pdf format. Mr Tabaqchali (@AMTabaqchali) is the CIO of the AFC Iraq Fund, and is an experienced capital markets professional with over 25 years’ experience in US and MENA markets. He is a non-resident Fellow at the Institute of Regional and International Studies (IRIS) at the American University of Iraq-Sulaimani (AUIS), and an Adjunct Assistant Professor at AUIS. He is a board member of the Credit Bank of Iraq. His 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. Source: Iraq-BusinessNews.com. Post your commentary below.
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    08-11-2019, 12:00 PM
    By Ahmed Tabaqchali, CIO of Asia Frontier Capital (AFC) Iraq Fund. Any opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News. The market’s action in July was so quiet that it turned activities like watching paint dry into spectator sports, as the start of the peak summer and holiday season depressed trading volumes. Nonetheless, the average daily turnover’s decline of ?15% month-on-month did not erase the turnover gains made in the prior two months, small as they were. For the month, the market, as measured by the Rabee Securities RSISX USD Index (RSISUSD), was down ?4.40% and down ?3.97% for the year. Please click here to download Ahmed Tabaqchali’s full report. Mr Tabaqchali (@AMTabaqchali) is the CIO of the AFC Iraq Fund, and is an experienced capital markets professional with over 25 years’ experience in US and MENA markets. He is a non-resident Fellow at the Institute of Regional and International Studies (IRIS) at the American University of Iraq-Sulaimani (AUIS), and an Adjunct Assistant Professor at AUIS. He is a board member of the Credit Bank of Iraq. His 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. Source: Iraq-BusinessNews.com. Post your commentary below.
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    08-11-2019, 09:55 AM
    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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    08-11-2019, 01:01 AM
    The ISIL conflict displaced 6 million people in Iraq, disrupted the national economy and limited employment opportunities for citizens. Sixty per cent of jobs in Iraq are in the private sector, within Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs); very large numbers of those businesses experienced loss as a result of the conflict and need support to rebuild. In Fallujah, for example, an International Organization for Migration (IOM) market assessment found that 69 per cent of construction businesses and 66 per cent of food-related businesses saw their workshops looted or burned between 2014 and 2017. Mosul and numerous other areas also showed high levels of damage and limited access to finance—challenges that EDF is designed to help businesses overcome. On Monday (05/08), IOM Iraq signed a memorandum of understanding with telecommunications company Asiacell to support innovation under the Enterprise Development Fund (EDF) — a livelihoods programme that contributes to economic recovery and private sector revitalization through tailored support to Small and Medium Enterprises. The innovation component (EDFi) supports early-stage tech businesses and tech start-ups in Iraq that can contribute to the local economy and create jobs for young people in the tech sector. “We strongly believe that the engagement of the private sector is a necessary condition for successful and sustainable economic recovery and job creation,” said IOM Chief of Mission Gerard Waite. “IOM Iraq looks forward to a long, productive collaboration with Asiacell, as we work to expand job creation and improve economic opportunities across Iraq.” “Today marks the start of a strategic partnership between Asiacell and IOM that will bring the EDF-I into effect in Iraq,” added Asiacell CEO Amer Sunna. “Asiacell looks forward to contributing to the development of youth skills and capabilities, and setting the foundation for a powerful and sustainable economy.” EDF aims to restore essential economic infrastructure by providing financial capital to SMEs in economic sectors that were successful prior to the conflict but suffered loss and damage and have a high demand for labour. By targeting key sectors and providing necessary funding, the EDF encourages rapid but also large-scale job creation. The fund has received hundreds of applications since the pilot phase was launched in September 2018, and 142 business grants have been approved to date. “After the liberation of Mosul, I sold a small plot of land that I owned and tried my best to reopen my factory,” explained Moufaq Ahmed Mohamed, an EDF beneficiary and owner of an oxygen plant. “I started with only two workers. Later, I received a grant from IOM which enabled me to buy a generator which is crucial to my work.” “ I frequently lost hours of work due to sudden power outages,” he continued. “This generator was a boon to my factory; I have been able to produce more, enabling me to hire more people and expand to 11 workers — which means feeding 11 families. This makes me very happy; this kind of support for the private sector contributes to the revival and rebuilding of Mosul.” EDF forms part of IOM’s work in support of the people and Government of Iraq (GOI) to promote sustainable recovery across the country. IOM Iraq’s EDF is supported by the USA Department of State’s Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM); the European Commission’s Directorate-General for International Cooperation and Development (DG DEVCO); KfW, the German Development Bank; the Government of the Netherlands; and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). (Source: IOM) Source: Iraq-BusinessNews.com. Post your commentary below.
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