investment


Iraqi Encourages French Companies to Invest

By John Lee.

Oil Minister Jabar Ali al-Luaibi [Allibi, Luiebi] has hosted a meeting in Baghdad with the French Minister of State for Foreign Trade, Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne, confirming the significance of the economic and financial relations between the two countries.

Both sides expressed hopes for major cooperation in all sectors, including oil, industrial, agricultural, commercial, transportation, and housing.

Mr. Lemoyne said that he saw a keenness from the Iraqi side to encourage and invite the French companies to invest in Iraq.

(Source: Office of the Iraqi Prime Minister)

Genel Energy attempts to Refinance Bonds

Genel Energy has announced that it has instructed the trustee for the GENEL01 bonds (ISIN: NO 001 0710 882) (‘GENEL01’ or ‘the Bonds’) to summons a bondholders’ meeting to resolve a refinancing of the existing Bonds.

The Company proposes to refinance GENEL01 through a partial early redemption and debt reduction by replacing the existing Bond Agreement with a new USD 300 million bond agreement. Bondholders holding a significant proportion of the Bonds have confirmed their commitment to vote in favour of the proposal.

In the proposal, the Company seeks to reduce its existing bond debt from the currently outstanding USD 421.8 million to USD 300 million, and at the same time extend maturity through amending and restating terms to a new 5 year bond with a coupon of 10% per annum.

Bondholders will, on a pro-rata basis, receive a partial early redemption of USD 121.8 million in cash at the prevailing call premium of 103% of par value. The remaining USD 300 million outstanding Bonds will remain outstanding with the same ISIN but with new and amended terms as set out in the term sheet described in detail in the summons for bondholders’ meeting (available at www.stamdata.com).

The bondholders meeting will be held on 20 December 2017 at 09:00 CET at the premises of Nordic Trustee AS. If approved, cash settlement and amendment of terms are expected to take place on 22 December 2017, subject to approval by the bondholders’ meeting.

The Company has mandated DNB Markets and Pareto Securities as managers for the contemplated transaction.

(Source: Genel Energy)

November Market Review: Tentative Recovery

By Ahmed Tabaqchali (pictured), 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 dog days of the summer extended from October into the first 10 days of November, as the 40 day Arba’een pilgrimage came to an end, with continued declines in turnover and prices.

This pattern was sharply reversed as buying interest drove prices and turnover significantly higher. The market, as measured by the RSISUSD Index, was up almost +10% by mid-month, with daily turnover almost doubling on the up days as the chart below shows, before settling in at +4.3% as the buying activity subsided.

Please click here to download Ahmed Tabaqchali’s full report.

Mr Tabaqchali 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.

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.

Investment Opportunity: State Company for Steel Industries

By John Lee.

Iraq’s State Company for Steel Industries, which is owned by the Ministry of Industry and Minerals, has announced an investment opportunities to participate in the management and production of the following projects in accordance with the requirements fixed in the investment profiles:

  • Sandwich Panel production
  • Built-up sections and bridge girders production
  • Metal chains production
  • Air filters for power plants

The company invites investors, financiers and specialized companies to participate in these important opportunities because of the need for these products in the Iraqi and foreign markets.

Those willing to participate should visit the company’s main office or its website to obtain the investment profiles, in whole or in part, bearing in mind that bids are to be submitted on the company’s website or by e-mail, at the end of the official working hours of Sunday, 10.12.2017.

Those wishing to participate may consult the Ministry of Industry and Minerals / Investment dept., as well as the company’s main office if you need detailed information or have a legal or technical inquiries or a field visit to the announced projects; you may contact through:   www.scosi-mim.com, info@scosi-mim.com  .

(Source: NIC)

Iraq plans New Bond Issue in 2018

By John Lee.

Following Iraq’s successful return to the bond markets earlier this year, it is now reportedly planning a $2 billion sovereign bond issue in 2018.

The Governor of the Central Bank of Iraq (CBI), Dr. Ali Mohsen Ismail Al-Allaq [Alak] (pictured), told Reuters that the plan is currently awaiting parliamentary approval.

He added that Iraq’s foreign currency reserves have risen from $46.5 billion at the end of 2016 to $49 billion , helped by the increase in oil prices.

The country’s budget deficit is running at around $15.4 billion to $16.3 billion.

(Source: Reuters)

Iraq Stock Market ends week 6.3% Up

Advertising Feature

Rabee Securities Iraq Stock Exchange (ISX) market report (week ending: 16th Nov 2017).

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

The RSISX index ended the week at IQD815 (+6.3%) / $838 (+6.6%) (weekly change) (-15.1% and -11.6% YTD change, respectively). The number of week traded shares was 15.0bn and the weekly trading volume was IQD10.8bn ($8.5mn).

ISX Company Announcements

  • According to the letter published in The Central Bank of Iraq (CBI) website on Wednesday, a consultative meeting was held on Nov. 13, 2017 under the chairmanship of the Governor of the CBI and faculty of the CBI with heads of boards of directors and executive directors of Iraqi banks to discuss the letter of the CBI dated Nov. 7, 2017 related with the suspension of activities of branches of banks operating in the KRG. In the letter it was mentioned that The Iraq Private Banks League welcomes the directives of the CBI regarding the branches of banks in the region and appreciate what was presented at the meeting to ensure the stability of the banking sector and not subject to risk through the CBI’s guidance for upholding the needs and interests of the citizens in the region in all branches of activities in line with the decision of the Council of Representatives. On Tuesday, CBI sources told Reuters that the CBI has eased restrictions on private banks in its Kurdistan region. In addition, according to the observations of Rabee Securities, the Iraqi banks are continuing to operate in a normal way in Kurdistan region.  (CBI, Reuters, Gulf-Times)
  • The Central Bank of Iraq (CBI) decided on Thursday to increase the fines for counterfeit banknotes from 500% to 700% and fines for the shortage discovered in the banknotes from 100% to 250% with the compensation of the shortfall. (Alsumaria)
  • Cihan Bank for Islamic Investment & Finance (BCIH) will hold AGM* on Nov. 20, 2017 to discuss and approve 2016 annual financial results. ISX suspended trading of BCIH starting Nov. 15, 2017.
  • New shares of Mamoura Realestate Investment (SMRI) from the capital increase to IQD22.78bn through 15% rights and 3.6% bonus issues resumed trading on Nov. 14, 2017.
  • Babylon Hotel (HBAY) will hold AGM* on Nov. 19, 2017 to discuss and approve 2016 annual financial results and distribution of 44.5% cash dividend (IQD0.445 dividend per share, 1.3% dividend yield). ISX suspended trading of HBAY on Nov. 14, 2017.
  • Cross Transactions: 7.6bn shares of Al-Harir for Money Transfer (MTAH) on Nov. 15, 2017, which represents 17.0% of MTAH capital. 313mn shares of Asiacell (TASC) on Nov. 12, 2017, which represents 0.1% of TASC capital.

IBBC holds Successful Autumn Conference in Dubai

Iraq Britain Business Council holds successful Autumn Conference in Dubai

Following on from the first Iraq Britain Business Council conference in Dubai in 2016, the IBBC was delighted to host its Autumn Conference in the UAE once again. The event was strongly supported by the UAE authorities.

Alongside Baroness Nicholson, the UK Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy to Iraq and President of the IBBC, the conference was opened by H.E. Abdullah Al Saleh, Under Secretary for Foreign Trade and Industry, UAE Ministry of Economy.

The Minister reminded delegates that non-Oil & Gas related trade between the UAE and Iraq had already passed 11 Billion USD in 2016, with Dubai in particular being a hub for local and international companies in the region.

The Minister firmly believes that the UAE’s role in the rebuilding of Iraq will continue to expand and expressed his wish to cooperate with organisations such as the IBBC to accomplish this crucial task.

Vikas Handa, IBBC UAE Representative and the Managing Director of the Emirati Company DrillTech, warmly thanked the minister and stated that the IBBC stands ready to work even more closely with the UAE in Iraq.

The Government of Iraq sent a high calibre ministerial delegation led by H.E. Mr Qasim Al-Fahdawi, The Minister of Electricity, to the conference. The delegation included H.E. Mrs Ann Naufi Aussi Balbool, Minister of Construction Housing and Public Municipalities; H.E. Kadhim Fijan Al Hamami, Minister of Transport; H.E. Dr Sami Al Araji, Chairman of the National Investment Commission (NIC); and H.E. Mr Fayadh Hassan Nima, Deputy Minister of Oil for refining affairs.

The conference was structured around several sessions in which the Iraqi officials and international companies operating successfully in Iraq, most of which are members of the IBBC, exchanged their views and experiences.

These sessions focused on strengths, weaknesses and opportunities of the economy in Iraq, Reconstruction & Infrastructure, Transport, Power and Oil & Gas. In parallel, a series of high level round-table discussions between investors and Iraqi Government representatives took place.

The conference included for the first time a presentation on the rapidly developing Tech sector in Iraq , given by the CEO of Zain.

IBBC thanks the International Finance Corporation (World Bank) and the IMF for its participation. Thanks also go to the IBBC members who sponsored the conference: Gold Sponsor International Islamic Bank; Silver Sponsors Serco and Gulftainer; Lunch Sponsor Rolls-Royce; pre-reception Sponsor Wood; and Coffee Break Sponsors Eversheds Sutherland and KCA Deutag.

IBBC Managing Director, Christophe Michels, stated that the increasing involvement of the UAE and wider GCC with Iraq was a game changer for the country. The IBBC very much welcomes this development and is delighted to be part of it and support it. The organisation will increase its presence in the UAE and the Autumn Conference in Dubai will become a regular feature in its calendar of events.

(Source: IBBC)

Iraq Stock Market Report

Advertising Feature

Rabee Securities Iraq Stock Exchange (ISX) market report (week ending: 9th Nov 2017).

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

The RSISX index ended the week at IQD766 (+0.2%) / $786 (+0.4%) (weekly change) (-20.2% and -17.0% YTD change, respectively). The number of week traded shares was 24.1bn and the weekly trading volume was IQD13.9bn ($10.9mn).

ISX Company Announcements

  • Ready Made Clothes (IRMC) will hold AGM* on Nov. 26, 2017 to discuss and approve 2016 annual financial results. ISX will suspend trading of IRMC starting Nov. 21, 2017.
  • Bain Alnahrain Investment (VMES) will hold AGM* on Nov. 22, 2017 to discuss and approve 2016 annual financial results. ISX will suspend trading of VMES starting Nov. 19 2017.
  • Cihan Bank for Islamic Investment & Finance (BCIH) will hold AGM* on Nov. 20, 2017 to discuss and approve 2016 annual financial results. ISX will suspend trading of BCIH starting Nov. 15, 2017.
  • Asiacell (TASC) will hold AGM* on Nov. 18, 2017 to discuss and approve 2016 annual financial results. ISX will suspend trading of TASC on Nov. 14, 2017.
  • Karbala Hotels (HKAR) will hold AGM* on Nov. 14, 2017 to discuss and approve 2016 annual financial results and increasing the capital from IQD50bn to IQD100bn through 100% rights issue to finance the remaining stages of the first phase of the project. ISX suspended trading of HKAR on Nov. 9, 2017.
  • Kurdistan International Bank (BKUI) resumed trading on Nov. 5, 2017 after discussing and approving 2016 annual financial results and adding “Islamic” to the bank name.
  • Cross Transactions: 4.7bn shares of Al-Qabedh Islamic Bank for Finance and Investment (BQAB) on Nov. 9, 2017, which represents 1.9% of BQAB capital. 354mn shares of Gulf Commercial Bank (BGUC) on Nov. 8, 2017, which represents 0.12% of BGUC capital. 960mn shares of Al-Mansour Bank (BMNS) on Nov. 6, 2017, which represents 1.4% of BMNS capital. 10.8bn shares of Elaf Islamic Bank (BELF) on Nov. 5, 2017, which represents 4.3% of BELF capital. 5.0bn shares of Trans Iraq Bank for Investment (BTRI) on Nov. 5, 2017, which represents 1.9% of BTRI capital.

60 New Projects to be Announced at IBBC Dubai Conference

Iraqi ministers intend to announce and discuss up to 60 intended projects at the IBBC summit conference this weekend in Dubai.

In a surge of confidence, a number of Iraqi ministers will be unveiling a raft of infrastructure, oil, power and industrial projects across numerous industry sectors:

  • Construction: Water treatment, waste water, housing, malls & infrastructure projects
  • Industry & Minerals: 10 new projects, including petrochemicals, methanol and phosphates
  • Oil: 4 new refineries, 3 refurbishments and 2 new initiatives
  • Energy: 32 separate power projects
  • Transport: Port projects and new railways

Vikas Handa, Director of IBBC Dubai says:

We have been pleasantly surprised by the volume of opportunities the Iraqi Ministers have come forward with this Autumn, and it’s clear they are keen to drive forward economic development through major projects. There are also numerous adjacent opportunities on offer for a broad range of sectors.

“For those companies interested to attend the Conference, they will also be able to engage with the Delegation at more intimate round table discussions.

“We welcome companies to enjoy the inside track, to meet the attending ministers and discuss how your company can engage with these opportunities.

To attend, register and sign up for the conference here: www.webuildiraq.org/ibbc-conference/autumn-conference/

Outgoing UK Ambassador discusses his Hopes for Iraq

The final statement from Frank Baker, UK Ambassador to Iraq. In this, Frank reflects on his 3.5 years in the role and discusses his hopes for Iraq’s future:

After over three years in Baghdad I am moving on from my role as British Ambassador to Iraq. It has been an incredible journey, in a fascinating country, at a challenging time. When I arrived in the summer of 2014, over one third of Iraqi territory was in the hands of Daesh.

Its fighters were approaching the outskirts of Baghdad. The country was under a significant threat. Three years on, the caliphate has been destroyed and Daesh itself is on the brink of collapse. It has been defeated by the strength of ordinary Iraqis; the commitment of the Iraqi government under the leadership of Prime Minister Haider al Abadi; and the immense courage of the Iraqi Security Forces.

I pay tribute to all those Iraqis who have died or been wounded in the fight to liberate your country from the tyranny of Daesh. And I am proud that the UK, a longstanding friend of Iraq, has, as a leading member of the Global Coalition, stood by Iraq and Iraqis in the face of Daesh’s violence and oppression.

But while Daesh is in retreat, challenges remain. These include stabilising liberated areas; resolving internal political tensions; reconstructing the country; and carrying out difficult but necessary economic reform – including ending the curse of corruption which affects so many Iraqis. I am fully confident in the capacity of Iraq and Iraqis to rise to these challenges.