Iran pushes Iraq Trade without Dollars

By Salam Zidane for Al Monitor. Any views expressed here are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News

 Iran pushes Iraq to maintain trade without US dollar

Iran is exerting considerable pressure on the Iraqi government to compel it not to abide by the US sanctions that have been imposed on Tehran in order for it to change its policies in the Middle East and abandon its nuclear program.

These pressures include using the Iraqi dinar and Iranian rial in the trade exchange between the two countries.

Click here to read the full story.

Iran pushes Iraq Trade without Dollars

By Salam Zidane for Al Monitor. Any views expressed here are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News

 Iran pushes Iraq to maintain trade without US dollar

Iran is exerting considerable pressure on the Iraqi government to compel it not to abide by the US sanctions that have been imposed on Tehran in order for it to change its policies in the Middle East and abandon its nuclear program.

These pressures include using the Iraqi dinar and Iranian rial in the trade exchange between the two countries.

Click here to read the full story.

In-Depth look into Displacement and Returns in Iraq

IOM, the UN Migration Agency, released the Integrated Location Assessment (ILA) III report.

The Integrated Location Assessment – Round III provides an in-depth look into both displacement and return movements in Iraq, putting a special focus on profiling the locations these groups live in and the social dynamics they are immersed in.

The latest round of the ILA study, completed from 6 March to 6 May 2018, includes the demographics of the displaced and returnee populations, their current conditions, movement intentions, vulnerabilities, sectorial needs and the state of social cohesion in the locations they currently live in. It covers 4,177 locations, reaching approximately 1,491,792 IDPs (248,632 families) and 3,585,210 returnees (597,535) across Iraq.

Key findings of the assessment are summarized below:

Compared to May 2017, the number of IDPs has reduced by approximately one third (-34%, 1,017,048 individuals). Decreases were recorded across all Iraqi governorates hosting IDPs, particularly in Baghdad, Kirkuk and Salah al-Din, but except in Sulaymaniyah.

Among those who remain displaced, 48% are hosted within their governorate of origin, 35% in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI), 14% in other north-central governorates and 3% in southern governorates – nearly all in Najaf. Over half of current IDPs (54%) have been in displacement for more than 3 years, 38% between 1 and 3 years and 8% for less than one year.

Access to employment/livelihood opportunities continues to be the main concern of IDPs in nearly all locations – and more so compared to last year. In fact, it was cited among top 3 concerns in locations where 93% of IDPs are currently hosted – it was 63% in May 2017.

For IDPs, lack of access to employment/livelihoods translates into the related difficulty of accessing food (51%), household and non-food items (NFIs, 66%) and shelter (42%). In fact, basic needs were generally rated as far more important than recovery needs.

In addition, nearly three fourth of displaced families report the lack of a shelter to return, around one in five does not have enough money for the journey back (reportedly most IDPs originally from Anbar and Baghdad) and/or is afraid to lose aid/humanitarian assistance.

Most IDP families intending to voluntarily stay in area of displacement in the long term (12% of current IDPs) can be found in southern governorates. Between 28% and 38% of IDPs hosted in Baghdad, Kerbala and Kirkuk, are also willing to voluntarily stay. Involuntary stay (10% at country level) is more prevalent in Sulaymaniyah, Babylon and reported, to a lesser extent, in Diyala.

IDPs are mainly re-settling in the South by virtue of its safety and the presence of extended family and friends, whereas staying in north-central governorates is mostly involuntary – families have lost everything at home or have no means to return. Safety, services and job opportunities are the most important reasons to relocate in the KRI.

The most frequently reported vulnerable categories are persons with disabilities, female-headed households and minor headed households – overall, between 53% and 72% of IDPs and returnees live in locations where the presence of at least one of the above groups was reported.

The most frequently reported minor vulnerability is work. Overall, around 70% of returnees and IDPs live in locations where the presence of minors working was assessed. In addition, around one fourth of returnees and IDPs live in locations where children are married, children are begging, and/or they were born during displacement, and hence do not have birth certificates and other documents.

Download full report.

(Source: IOM)

GardaWorld Weekly Security Report

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

China Wins Contract for $246m Cement Plant

By John Lee.

China’s Sinoma International Engineering has signed a $246-million contract to build a 6000-tonne/day clinker production line in Iraq.

The plant will be built for Iraqi Cement in the Samawah of Muthanna.

It will handle the entire production process, from raw material crushing to finished cement packaging.

Once the contract is finalised, the project is expected to  be completed within 37 months.

(Source: Shanghai Stock Exchange)

Iraq to Follow OPEC, Reduce Oil Output

By John Lee.

Iraq’s oil ministry has said it will seek to limit oil production to 4.513 million barrels per day (bpd) for the next six months. based on the OPEC deal recently agreed.

According to a statement from the Ministry of Oil, this would be a reduction of 140,000 bpd from the reference level of 4.653 million bpd reached in October.

(Source: Ministry of Oil)

Ambassador James Jeffrey takes new Anti-ISIS Role

Ambassador James Jeffrey Assumes Role of Special Envoy to the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS

Ambassador James Jeffrey (pictured), the current Special Representative for Syria Engagement, has taken on the additional role of the Special Envoy to the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS, effective January 4, 2019.

With this additional responsibility, Ambassador Jeffrey will lead and coordinate U.S. Department of State relations with the Global Coalition to defeat ISIS and Department efforts to implement President Trump’s announcement of a responsible U.S. troop withdrawal from Syria that is coordinated with our global Allies and partners consistent with U.S. goals for Syria and Iraq, including the enduring defeat of ISIS.

He takes over from Brett McGurk, who resigned following disagreements with President Donald Trump’s strategy on Syria.

Jeffrey has previously served as US Ambassador to Iraq.

(Sources: US State Department, Washington Free Beacon)

Iraq Stock Market Report

Advertising Feature

Rabee Securities Iraq Stock Exchange (ISX) market report (week ending: 3rd January 2019).

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

Note: ISX will be closed on Sunday (Jan. 6, 2019) due to the official holiday of Iraqi Army Day. The next trading session will be held on Monday (Jan. 7, 2019).

The RSISX index ended the week at IQD658 (-0.2%) / $709 (-0.2%) (weekly change) (-0.2% and -0.2% YTD change, respectively). The number of week traded shares was 1.4 bn and the weekly trading volume was IQD0.8 bn ($0.7 mn).

ISX Company Announcements

  • According to the ISX announcement, the opening price of the IQD5.0 mn class bonds (CB125) was IQD5,303,562 on Jan. 3, 2019. [Table: 2.3]
  • ISX will suspend trading of Bain Al-Nahrain Investment (VMES) starting Jan. 13, 2019 due to the AGM* that will be held on Jan. 16, 2019 to discuss and approve 2017 annual financial results.
  • Al -Hilal Industries (IHLI) will hold a GA on Jan. 9, 2019 to elect 5 board members and other 5 alternative members. The company has been suspended since Jul. 4, 2018 by an ISC decision for not disclosing 2017 annual financial results and 3M18 and 6M18 financial results.
  • Iraqi Agricultural Products and Marketing Meat (AIPM) will resume trading on Jan. 7, 2019 after discussing and approving 2017 annual financial results.
  • ISX will suspend trading of Ready-Made Clothes (IRMC) on Jan. 7, 2019 if the company fails to explain why the prices touched the lower limits on Jan. 2, 2019 and Jan. 3, 2019.
  • Iraqi Agricultural Products (AIRP) resumed trading on Jan. 3, 2019 after discussing and approving 2017 annual financial results and deciding to distribute 40% cash dividend (IQD0.40 dividend per share, 4.5% dividend yield).
  • National Chemical & Plastic Industries (INCP) resumed trading on Jan. 2, 2019 after discussing and approving 2017 annual financial results.
  • Al-Hamraa for Insurance (NHAM) completed its capital increase procedures from IQD5.0 bn to IQD7.0 bn through 40% bonus issue.

Iraq “Not Obliged” to heed US sanctions on Iran

By John Lee.

Iraq’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mohamed Ali Alhakim [Mohammed Ali al-Hakim] (pictured) has been quoted as saying that Iraq is not obliged to abide by US sanctions against Iran.

According to Rudaw, he told journalists on Wednesday:

“These sanctions, the siege, or what is called the embargo, these are unilateral, not international. We are not obliged [to follow] them.”

Some “possibilities” have been proposed that would keep trade routes open with Iran, “including dealing in Iraqi dinars in bilateral trade,” he added.

More here.

(Source: Rudaw)

December Casualty figures Fall

During December 2018 a total of 32 Iraqi civilians were killed and another 32 injured in acts of terrorism and conflict-related violence.

Ninewa was the worst affected Governorate with 26 civilian casualties (07 killed, 19 injured) followed by Baghdad with (17 killed and 03 injured) and Salahadin (03 killed and 03 injured). The figures include ordinary citizens and others considered civilian at the time of death or injury, such as police on non-combat functions, civil defence, personal security teams, facilities protection police and fire department personnel.

UNAMI views these figures as more than mere statistics. Every civilian death documented by UNAMI over the years represents a family grieving and struggling to come to terms with its loss. Each injury or maiming of a civilian represents immense individual and societal suffering,” Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General (SRSG) for Iraq, Ms. Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert, said.

NOTE FOR INFORMATION:

UNAMI used to publish these casualty figures on a monthly basis as part of its broader efforts to highlight civilian protection needs, reduce civilian harm, and to encourage all parties to the conflict to abide by their obligations under international human rights and humanitarian law. However, UNAMI’s monitoring in recent months has shown a steady reduction in civilian casualties. UNAMI has therefore decided that it will no longer publish these civilian casualty updates on a monthly basis but only if circumstances dictate. Whilst this decision is made in the context of a stabilizing security situation, and a consequent reduction in conflict-related harm to civilians, the conditions necessary for a sustained reduction in violence remain very fragile. UNAMI will, therefore, continue to monitor the situation.

*CAVEATS: UNAMI has been hindered in effectively verifying casualties in certain areas; in some cases, UNAMI could only partially verify certain incidents. For these reasons, the figures reported have to be considered as the absolute minimum. UNAMI was not able to verify casualty figures from Anbar Governorate and as a result they are not included.

(Source: United Nations)