Monthly Archives: June 2014



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Iraq Receives Russian Fighter Jets

By John Lee.

Iraq has received the first batch of fighter jets from Russia to help it repel the offensive by Sunni rebels.

The defence ministry said five Sukhoi SU-25 attack aircraft would enter service in “three to four days”.

Prime minister Nouri al-Maliki told the BBC last week that his government had signed a deal with Russia and Belarus to supply jet fighters.

The deals are reportedly worth up to $500 million.

(Source: BBC News, Ministry of Defense)

What is a Caliphate?

By John Cookson. Any opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

Iraq’s extraordinary history has turned another page. Jihadists – who only 3 weeks ago swept into northern Iraq – have now declared thousands square kilometres between Aleppo jn Syria and the governorate of Diyala in eastern Iraq, as a caliphate.

In an audio recording distributed on the web, the extremist group the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) announced that Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has been appointed caliph and is now the leader of all Muslims wherever they are. The group then changed its name to the Islamic State.

So what is a caliphate?

The caliphate was the Islamic state established after the death of the prophet Mohammed in the beginning of the seventh century.

The caliph, a supreme religious and political leader was at its helm and deemed a successor to the prophet Mohammed – al khilafa in Arabic means the succession. Sunni Muslims believe the caliph should be elected by the people. Shi’ites think the leader should be an imam appointed by God.

Previous historic dynasties include the Rashidun, Umayyads, Abbasids, Fatimids, Sokoto and the Ottomans. Kemal Attaurk, first President of the Turkish Republic abolished the last one in 1924.

Iraq Stock Market Report

Advertising Feature

Rabee Securities Iraq Stock Exchange (ISX) market report (week ending: 26th June 2014).

Please click here to download a table of listed companies and their associated ticker codes.

The RSISX index ended the week at ID1,665 (-2.2%)/ $1,776 (-2.2%) (weekly change) (-10.7% and -10.6% YTD change, respectively). The number of week traded shares was 6.5bn and the weekly trading volume was ID8.9bn ($7.3mn).

ScreenHunter_727 Jun. 30 11.56

ISX Company Announcements

  • Economy Bank (BEFI) 1Q14 (unaudited) financial results: B/S – 1Q14 (Assets: IQD613bn, -6% q/q (+31% y/y), Monetary Credit: IQD161bn, -3% q/q (-7% y/y), Cash: IQD65bn, -49% q/q (-14% y/y), Deposits: IQD314bn, -13% q/q (+11% y/y), BV: IQD231bn, +7% q/q (+37% y/y) P&L – 1Q14 (Estimated Net Banking Income (NBI): IQD10.4bn (-16% y/y), Operating Profit: IQD5.2bn (+35% y/y), Profit Before Tax: IQD5.1bn (+47% y/y).
  • New & original shares of Iraqi Middle East Bank (BIME) from the capital increase to IQD250bn through 66.7% rights issue will resume trading on June 29, 2014 after fulfilling ISC’s disclosure requirements. The opening price will be IQD1.36 per share with +/- 50% limit for the first session.
  • Kharkh Tour Amuzement City (SKTA) will hold its AGM* on July 12 to discuss and approve 2013 annual financial results and increasing its capital from IQD368mn to IQD500mn through 35.9% bonus issue. ISX will suspend trading of SKTA starting on July 4.
  • Mamoura Real Estate (SMRI) will hold its AGM* on July 6, 2014 to discuss and approve 2013 annual financial results and increasing its capital from IQD15.010bn to IQD18.012bn through 20% rights issue. ISX will suspend trading of SMRI starting on Jun. 29, 2014.
  • Original shares of Modern Chemical Ind.(IMCI) will resume trading on June 29 after they discussed and approved 2013 financial results, increasing its capital from IQD135mn to IQD180mn through 33% bonus issue and distributing 50% (IQD0.50 per share) cash dividend. The opening price will be IQD1.36 per share with +/- 50% limit for the 1st session.
  • Ashur International Bank (BASH) will hold its AGM* on July 2, 2014 to discuss and approve 2013 annual financial results and distributing 6% (IQD0.06 per share) cash dividend. ISX suspended trading of BASH starting on Jun. 25, 2014.
  • Shares of Iraqi for Tufted Carpets (IITC) resumed trading on June 25 after they approved 2013 financial results and distributing 25% (IQD0.25 per share) cash dividend.
  • Baghdad Hotel (HBAG) will hold its AGM* on July 1, 2014 to discuss and approve 2013 annual financial results. ISX suspended trading of HBAG starting on Jun. 24, 2014.
  • National Bank of Iraq (BNOI) held its AGM on June 24, 2014. In its GA, BNOI approved distributing 6.6% cash dividend (IQD0.066 per share).

Electricity Generation needs Urgent Fuel Supply

Iraq’s electricity shortages cannot be resolved unless sufficient fuel flows to the power plants feeding Iraq’s national grid, according to Dr Jafar D. Jafar, co-founder and CEO of Uruk Engineering & Contracting, addressing a recent conference.

Uruk’s CEO highlighted the short-fall in fuel availability, particularly gas, currently impacting Iraq’s power generation capacity. He noted that the current gas fuel shortage has decreased Iraq’s power availability on the national grid by at least 3000 MW.

Major Power plants such as Nainawa (6×125 MW), Al-Mansurya (4×182 MW) and Rumaila (5×290 MW) are idle because of lack of fuel. The irony is that Iraq is currently flaring more than 900 million standard cubic feet per day of associated gas in the South whereas major power plants are shut down because of lack of gas.

Peak power supplied from Iraq’s national grid has exceeded 12,000 MW and electricity peak demand is estimated at 16,000 MW. Therefore, these currently idle power plants would go a long way towards reducing black outs during the long Summer months.

Dr. Jafar also noted that gas as a fuel for power generation is the best choice when compared with liquid fuel options such as light distillate or diesel, crude oil or heavy fuel oil (HFO). Gas is best from the environmental view point and from every other standpoint.

For example, power plants operating on gas require the least maintenance and provide the highest availability when compared with power plants operating on liquid fuels.

Ensuring Iraq’s long- term electricity security will require a number of bold and aggressive steps to be taken not only by the government; but also by the international oil companies (IOCs) that have development contracts in the country.

UNICEF Receives Polio Vaccine

UNICEF received one million doses of polio vaccine in Erbil on Saturday, marking the first ever occasion of such a delivery directly to the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KR-I).

Following on its recent agreement with the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) to greatly expand immunization efforts in the KR-I, Saturday’s shipment will support the joint UNICEF, WHO and KRG immunization campaign beginning on 6 July, during which more than 800,000 children under five, including refugees and the newly displaced, will receive vaccination.

These supplies arrive in the context of multiple crises. In February, Iraq recorded its first polio case in 14 years, while continuing violence throughout the country and in neighbouring Syria, have precipitated the continuing mass displacement of children from areas with poor routine immunization and made new immunization difficult.

(Source: UN)

(Polio image via Shutterstock)

Mosul’s Child Soldiers

This article was originally published by Niqash. Any opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

Mosul’s Child Soldiers: Volunteers for Extremist Group as Young as 10

Much to the horror of the city’s adults, children and teens in masks, carrying guns, are becoming an increasingly common sight on Mosul’s streets. NIQASH meets ISIS’s youngest recruit – he’s ten years old – and asks the city’s youth why they think it’s so glamorous to fight for the Sunni extremist group.

It was a surprising sight. The customers standing in Haj Hamdoun’s store in central Mosul watched as a masked child came into the shop, buy what he wanted without saying a word and then leave again, carrying a bag containing candies and milk in one hand and a heavy machine gun, that was just about as big as him, in the other.

This was Abdullah, who is apparently the city’s youngest volunteer with the Sunni extremist group, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria or ISIS, that took control of Mosul over two weeks ago.

Abdullah is not yet 11 years old. But his older brother and his father, who was a senior member of ISIS, were killed in fighting between the extremist group and Iraqi security forces in 2013. That’s why Abdullah joined ISIS.

The storeowner, Hamdoun, says he has actually become used to seeing Abdullah wandering around, carrying his big gun with both pride and difficulty. He has also seen the boy on guard duty together with other ISIS fighters in front of the new ISIS headquarters in Mosul, originally the home of a government official.

A curious bystander wanted to start a conversation with Abdullah. “I have a son your age but he’s not eager to carry arms,” the man said. “He spends most of his time on the computer.”

A tall, overweight gunman, who seemed to be responsible for the child, answered on Abdullah’s behalf. “Our children don’t waste time on electronic games or on watching cartoons,” he said. “They have a dream and their dream is to establish an Islamic state.”

The gunman patted Abdullah’s shoulder. “We have a lot of hope for Abdullah and other children his age,” the gunman continued. “We believe they will conquer all of Iraq and Persia and that they will liberate Jerusalem.”

Abdullah may be the youngest volunteer with ISIS but he is not the only child or teenager to have become enthusiastic about bearing arms for the extremist group in Mosul. As soon as ISIS arrived here, they began to attract new members, mostly teenagers and young men aged between 10 and 30, who were drawn to the glamour of the group’s obvious power and the adventure of joining such a well-armed gang.