investment


$30bn Pledged to Iraq – Time to Act!

Following the Kuwait International Conference for the Reconstruction of Iraq earlier this week, Iraq has so far received pledges of financing totalling around $30 billion to help with rebuilding the country after the devastating war against the Islamic State group.

While this is well short of the $88 billion in funding estimated to be needed, it is still a very significant boost for the country’s reconstruction programme, and will greatly improve the quality of life for millions of Iraqis.

Commenting on the outcome, UN Secretary-General António Guterres said:

After the last three days in Kuwait, I feel hope for a new Iraq that is open for business and prepared to face the next challenge of rebuilding communities while reconstructing schools, roads, bridges, hospitals and public infrastructure.

“A prosperous Iraq will be a pillar for development and stability in the region.

Many readers of Iraq Business News will play key roles in this reconstruction effort, and we would like to wish them every success in this important work.

To promote your business to the Iraqi market, please contact our sales manager, David Jeffries: david.jeffries@iraq-businessnews.com, +44 20 8150 5293.

Iraq to Increase Oil Capacity by 40%

By John Lee.

Oil Minister Jabar Ali al-Luaibi [Allibi, Luiebi] (pictured) has said Iraq plans to increase its crude oil production capacity from 5 million bpd at present to 7 million bpd by 2022.

According to a report from Reuters, he added that Iraq needs $4 billion for new investments in its downstream oil industry, lifting refining capacity to 1.5 million bpd by 2021.

It said the increase in refining capacity would come from seven projects, some of them new and some involving the expansion of existing refineries.

(Source: Reuters)

US EXIM agrees $3bn Iraq Financing

On Tuesday, the Export-Import Bank of the United States (EXIM) entered into a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Iraq’s Ministry of Finance aimed at rebuilding Iraq and enhancing trade and economic cooperation between the two countries.

EXIM’s Acting Vice Chairman Scott Schloegel signed the MOU today with Iraq’s Deputy Finance Minister Dr. Maher Hammad Johan at the Kuwait International Conference for the Reconstruction of Iraq held at Bayan Palace in Kuwait City.

U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Douglas A. Silliman and Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi also attended. The signing was part of a U.S. diplomatic mission from February 11-16 being led by U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to Jordan, Turkey, Beirut, Lebanon, Egypt, and Kuwait.

“This MOU signals that American workers want to be part of the rebuilding effort in Iraq,” said Acting Vice Chairman Scott Schloegel. “We anticipate that the financing following from this agreement will support scores of jobs across the United States over the coming years.”

Under the MOU, EXIM and Iraq’s Ministry of Finance agreed to identify potential projects in Iraq for procurement of goods manufactured in the United States and services produced by American workers. Areas for collaboration and business development include infrastructure, rail and road transportation, aircraft, energy, health care, and security, among others.

EXIM has agreed to facilitate short- and medium-term financing of U.S. exports to Iraqi state-owned enterprises up to a total of $3 billion in aggregate.

Up to $1 billion of this financing may be allocated to eligible short-term commodity transactions. Access to EXIM financing is subject to the bank’s approval for each individual transaction and must comply with the terms for EXIM’s financing.

(Source: EXIM)

World Bank’s Commitment to Iraq Reaches $4.7bn

The World Bank Group and the Government of Iraq signed two projects today totaling US$510 million to help the Iraqi people by improving living conditions, enhancing water supplies, and creating jobs.

The two projects along with the ongoing US$750 million Emergency Operation for Development program and other planned commitments, will increase the World Bank’s total commitment to Iraq to US$4.7 billion, compared to US$600 million four years ago.

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi and World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim (pictured) attended the signing ceremony for the two projects, which took place on the sidelines of the Iraq Reconstruction Conference hosted by the State of Kuwait.

The increased Bank commitment will help support immediate restoration of education and health services, rebuilding important roads and bridges, and rehabilitation of electricity and water systems. The ongoing emergency reconstruction projects have already created thousands of jobs for Iraqis and the new projects are expected to create millions more.

“We will mobilize the full range of the World Bank Group’s expertise to invest in a new, stronger Iraq,” President Kim said in a speech at the opening of the Iraq Reconstruction Conference. “We will continue to work with our international partners to ensure the smooth and sustainable transition from stabilization through recovery to reconstruction.”

The World Bank is committed to scaling up its support for Iraq reconstruction and development subject to availability of resources. In addition to the financial support, the World Bank Group has been actively engaging with the Iraqi Government through providing technical assistance for Iraq’s recovery and to lay the foundation for private sector investments in Iraq.

“We will work hand in hand with the private sector to support Iraq,” said Kim. “We must all invest in Iraq’s smart and ambitious youth. We must invest in Iraq’s resilient women. These are the investments that will remain long after the reconstruction process has ended.”

In the leadup to the conference, the Iraqi government unveiled its National Reconstruction and Development Framework. The framework aims to both redress the impact of the current crisis and prevent future crises by addressing the structural causes of conflict.

By promoting the critical reforms needed to establish a new social contract, the framework provides a roadmap for rebuilding trust between citizens and the government.

To read the full transcript of President Kim’s speech, click here.

(Source: World Bank Group)

Video: Donors pledge more than $300m to Iraq

From Al Jazeera. Any opinions expressed are those of the authors, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

Iraq is hoping for more concrete pledges from international donors on the second day of a conference on rebuilding cities and infrastructure shattered by the conflict with ISIL (the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, also known as ISIS).

On Monday, non-governmental organisations pledged more than $300 million to the reconstruction effort, far short of the $100 billion the government says it needs.

Al Jazeera‘s Sami Zeidan reports from Kuwait:

Video: Iraq seeks $100bn for Post-IS Reconstruction

From Al Jazeera. Any opinions expressed are those of the authors, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

Iraq is hoping to raise billions of dollars at a donor conference starting on Monday in Kuwait – to finance the reconstruction after its campaign against ISIL (the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, also known as ISIS).

It is estimated that $100bn is needed for the reconstruction.

Large parts of Iraq’s second-largest city, Mosul, are still in ruins, more than six months after it was retaken by the government.

Al Jazeera’s Sami Zeidan reports from Kuwait:

Iraqi Stock Market Continues to Climb

Advertising Feature

Rabee Securities Iraq Stock Exchange (ISX) market report (week ending: 8th Feb 2018).

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

The RSISX index ended the week at IQD926 (+5.7%) / $966 (+5.9%) (weekly change) (+14.2% and +15.5% YTD change, respectively). The number of week traded shares was 11.3bn and the weekly trading volume was IQD8.6bn ($6.9mn).

ISX Company Announcements

  • According to the letter (dated Jan. 29, 2018) sent to Al-Rafidain Bank, Al-Rasheed Bank, and Trade Bank of Iraq (TBI) related with treasury bonds regulations and payments to contractors for 2018, Central Bank of Iraq (CBI) will pay the past due payments to contractors on behalf of the Ministry of Finance (MoF) after the completion of the auditing by the Federal Board of Supreme Audit. In the letter it was mentioned that the bond’s annual interest will be 5% with a maturity of three years. The Ministry of Planning will prepare the list of names and contractors and the amounts due to them and send it to the MoF. The role of the CBI is to deliver the bonds to the contractors according to the required payments. (CBI)
  • The Anti-Money Laundering (AML / CFT) Council announces the preparation and issuance of the National Strategy for Combating Money Laundering and the Financing of Terrorism for the years 2017-2020 according to the international requirements, which is the first strategy in Iraq in this regard. (CBI)
  • Regarding the request of ISC from Economy Bank for Investment (BEFI) on Dec. 14, 2017 to clarify unclear items in 2016 annual financial results since their earlier clarifications weren’t clear and financial statements do not represent the current financial position of the bank, ISC mentioned that the bank replied that these cases will be amended in 2017 annual financial results. ISC declared that the problems remain unsolved and the report is unclear and thus the BEFI will remain suspended from trading until these issues will be resolved.
  • According to Bada’a Al-Karada court decision on Aug. 28, 2017, ISX will auction starting March 6, 2018 North Bank (BNOR) shares amounted 4.8 bn owned by Omer Mohammed Ahmed Al-Jaff for payment of IQD2.3 bn debt to Al-Mansour Bank (BMNS).
  • Iraq Noor Islamic Bank for Investment (BINI) will hold a GA on Feb. 22, 2018 to elect a new BoD. ISX will suspend trading of BINI starting Feb. 19, 2018. BINI will resume trading on Feb.25, 2018.
  • Metallic & Bicycles Industries (IMIB) disclosed signing investment contracts with the Chinese Company for Motorcycles Production and the British Himalaya Enterprise.

Six Industrial Projects Open for Investment

By John Lee.

Iraq’s National Investment Commission (NIC) has included six industrial projects in its list of major strategic projects to be presented during the Kuwait International Conference for Iraq Reconstruction, to be held in Kuwait from 12th to 14th February:

A. Rehabilitation and development of white cement plants in Falluja.

  • Area: 642000m²
  • Production capacity: 290000 ton/year for the two lines. Production capacity can be increased to 350000 t/y
  • Cost for Rehabilitating and operating is $12.800.000
  • Experienced staff is available to operate the plant
  • The plant (which is the only one in Iraq that produces white cement) is not working at the present time. Cement plants in Kubaisa, Qaim, in Anbarand Badoosh, Sinjar, HamamAl Alilin Mosul are going through damage assessment by special committees (for the damages that occurred during 2014-2017).

B. Rehabilitation and development of glass plants in Ramadi

  • Multipurpose raw glass (13 type of glass), such as glass for buildings, automobile and mirrors
  • Iraq’s need for float glass is doubling annually. The current estimate of 1500 t/d covers the local market. The unique location of the plant is suitable for exporting this product to the neighboring countries as raw or final product.
  • Target production capacity: 500000 t/y to be divided into two phases according to market capacity and required types.
  • Annual production cost in full capacity to produce 700 t/d is around 94 b ID.
  • Return 16%
  • It is possible to establish a float glass plant in Karbala and Muthana provinces.

C. Rehabilitation and development of engineering plants in the Ministry of Industry and Minerals such as Al Nassir and Al SimoodCo., IbnMajid, The Heavy engineering equipment Co. (Ministry of Oil) and The Mechanical industries in Eskandariyato cover the needs of the oil & gas, electricity and heavy industries sectors for tanks, heat exchangers, valves, pipes, pumps, poles and cranes and other products the rehabilitation and development of these factories require new production lines as well as supporting infrastructure.

D. Caustic Soda project/ Chlorine/ Samawa/ which includes the production of caustic soda, chlorine, Hypochlorite and Hydrochloric Acid.

  • Area: 50 dunam
  • Production capacity: 40-50 ton/per day
  • Cost : 40 Million Dollars.

E. Sodium Carbonate project/Samawa/ produces Sodium Carbonate and Bicarbonate.

  • Area: 100 dunam
  • Production capacity: 50000 t/y
  • Cost : 50-60 Million Dollars.

F. Sodium Sulfate projects/Samawa

  • Area: 25 dunam
  • Production capacity: 10 ton/per day
  • Cost : 20 Million Dollars.

The full 46-page document can be downloaded here.

(Source: NIC)

Saudis see Opportunities in Helping to Rebuild Iraq

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

The reconstruction of Iraq’s liberated Sunni areas will open new horizons for the country, as 400 companies worldwide are engaged in the Reconstruction Fund for Areas Affected by Terroristic Operations to restore life to areas freed of the Islamic State (IS). Iraq will need $100 billion from other countries for the project, according to Planning Minister Salman al-Jumaili.

Chief among those countries is Saudi Arabia, which will take this opportunity to stem what it sees as the rising tide of Iranian influence in Mesopotamia. Iraq looks to Saudi Arabia as one of the big players in this process and wants it to play a large role.

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi sent a letter Jan. 18 to Saudi King Salman bin Abdul-Aziz Al Saud asking for support. On the same day, Salman stressed Saudi Arabia’s willingness to help Iraq. He said Iraq is Saudi Arabia’s “brotherly” country — one that holds deep strategic importance for Saudi Arabia.

In another sign of Iraq’s outreach to Saudi Arabia, Iraqi parliament Speaker Salim alJabouri met Jan. 18 in Baghdad with Saudi Ambassador Abdul Aziz al-Shammari, who confirmed his country’s support for Iraq in this issue.

Saudi Arabia wants to strengthen its relationship with Iraq’s Sunnis but doesn’t want to distance itself from Iraq’s Shiites. Riyadh is working to return Iraq to a higher standing in the Arab world and reduce Tehran’s influence, which became entrenched after Saddam Hussein was toppled in 2003.

Salman al-Ansari, head of the US-based Saudi American Public Relation Affairs Committee, told Al-Monitor, “The size of Saudi Arabia’s participation in the reconstruction of the liberated areas is not bound by any financial ceiling. This will be proved during the Saudi participation in the conference of donor countries, which will be held in Kuwait between Feb. 14 and 16.”

Iraq expects 70 countries to take part in the donor conference, and Abadi has paved the way for the meeting by calling state leaders and explaining to them how much the reconstruction will cost.

Iraqi Planning Ministry spokesman Abdul-Zahra al-Hindawi told Al-Monitor the king has confirmed he will attend the conference but hasn’t disclosed how much Saudi Arabia plans to invest.

“Iraq is relying heavily on the role of Saudi Arabia in the reconstruction process because of Saudi Arabia’s economic and political clout in the region,” Hindawi said.

The political blocs of the liberated areas are on good terms with Saudi Arabia, which allows Riyadh to hit two birds with one stone: It can prove its good faith toward Iraq as a country and build the community base in those areas for pro-Saudi parties.

The two countries’ political relationship has seen progress in the past three years, and the Saudi support in restoring life to the liberated areas is expected to crown this rapprochement.

Saudis see Opportunities in Helping to Rebuild Iraq

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

The reconstruction of Iraq’s liberated Sunni areas will open new horizons for the country, as 400 companies worldwide are engaged in the Reconstruction Fund for Areas Affected by Terroristic Operations to restore life to areas freed of the Islamic State (IS). Iraq will need $100 billion from other countries for the project, according to Planning Minister Salman al-Jumaili.

Chief among those countries is Saudi Arabia, which will take this opportunity to stem what it sees as the rising tide of Iranian influence in Mesopotamia. Iraq looks to Saudi Arabia as one of the big players in this process and wants it to play a large role.

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi sent a letter Jan. 18 to Saudi King Salman bin Abdul-Aziz Al Saud asking for support. On the same day, Salman stressed Saudi Arabia’s willingness to help Iraq. He said Iraq is Saudi Arabia’s “brotherly” country — one that holds deep strategic importance for Saudi Arabia.

In another sign of Iraq’s outreach to Saudi Arabia, Iraqi parliament Speaker Salim alJabouri met Jan. 18 in Baghdad with Saudi Ambassador Abdul Aziz al-Shammari, who confirmed his country’s support for Iraq in this issue.

Saudi Arabia wants to strengthen its relationship with Iraq’s Sunnis but doesn’t want to distance itself from Iraq’s Shiites. Riyadh is working to return Iraq to a higher standing in the Arab world and reduce Tehran’s influence, which became entrenched after Saddam Hussein was toppled in 2003.

Salman al-Ansari, head of the US-based Saudi American Public Relation Affairs Committee, told Al-Monitor, “The size of Saudi Arabia’s participation in the reconstruction of the liberated areas is not bound by any financial ceiling. This will be proved during the Saudi participation in the conference of donor countries, which will be held in Kuwait between Feb. 14 and 16.”

Iraq expects 70 countries to take part in the donor conference, and Abadi has paved the way for the meeting by calling state leaders and explaining to them how much the reconstruction will cost.

Iraqi Planning Ministry spokesman Abdul-Zahra al-Hindawi told Al-Monitor the king has confirmed he will attend the conference but hasn’t disclosed how much Saudi Arabia plans to invest.

“Iraq is relying heavily on the role of Saudi Arabia in the reconstruction process because of Saudi Arabia’s economic and political clout in the region,” Hindawi said.

The political blocs of the liberated areas are on good terms with Saudi Arabia, which allows Riyadh to hit two birds with one stone: It can prove its good faith toward Iraq as a country and build the community base in those areas for pro-Saudi parties.

The two countries’ political relationship has seen progress in the past three years, and the Saudi support in restoring life to the liberated areas is expected to crown this rapprochement.