Iraq Banking & Finance News


Iran, Iraq to Use Euro, Dinar in Oil Trade

The governor of the Central Bank of Iran unveiled plans for using non-dollar accounts for oil and gas trade with Iraq.

Abdolnaser Hemmati on Wednesday held a meeting with presidents of Iraqi banks, members of Iraq’s chamber of commerce and the Arab country’s business people during a trip to Baghdad.

In the gathering, the top Iranian banker unveiled a new mechanism to continue Iran’s trade with Iraqi businesses, saying the CBI is going to open euro and dinar-based accounts to process transactions for trade in oil and gas.

Describing Iraq as Iran’s major partner, Hemmati said the two countries have agreed to make the banking ties much stronger.

“According to the agreements, Iranian exporters should be able to continue activities via Iraqi banks, and Iranian banks could also open dinar accounts in Iraqi banks.”

He also stated that Iraqi companies can reciprocally open accounts in Iranian banks and conduct transactions in dinar.

In December 2018, Chairman of Iran-Iraq Chamber of Commerce Yahya Ale-Eshaq said the central banks of Iran and Iraq were finalizing negotiations to begin trade in their own currencies.

Iraq’s Foreign Minister Mohamed Ali Alhakim has made it clear that his country cannot cut off trade ties with Iran under the US sanctions, saying the value of annual trade between Iran and Iraq amounts to $12 billion.

(Source: Tasnim, under Creative Commons licence)

PM Urges Rapid Implementation of Iran Banking Deal

Governor of the Central Bank of Iran (CBI) Abdonnaser Hemmati said Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi has voiced “his firm support” for the banking deal reached between the two countries on Tuesday night and called for its rapid implementation.

“After a long and four-hour meeting last night with the governor of the Central Bank of Iraq, I had a very good and constructive meeting with the Prime Minister of Iraq on Wednesday, February 6,” Hemmati said in a post on social media.

“I appreciated his determination to develop political and economic relations between the two countries,” he wrote.

“He declared his firm support for the two sides’ banking agreement and urged the governor of Iraq’s Central Bank to quickly pursue and implement the deal,” Hemmati stated.

In a meeting between Hemmati and his Iraqi counterpart, Ali Mohsen al-Allaq, in Baghdad on Tuesday night, the agreement to develop a payment mechanism aimed at facilitating banking ties was signed.

In addition to natural gas and electricity, Iraq imports a wide range of goods from Iran including food, agricultural products, home appliances, and air conditioners.

Speaking at a joint press conference with Iraqi President Barham Salih in Tehran in November, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said the value of trade and economic interaction between Tehran and Baghdad stands at around $12 billion, adding that the two neighbors have the potential for a $20-billion trade target.

Rouhani hoped that cooperation between Tehran and Baghdad would contribute to regional security and stability.

(Source: Tasnim, under Creative Commons licence)

Iran, Iraq “Finalize” Payment Mechanism

Governors of the central banks of Iran and Iraq signed an agreement to develop a payment mechanism aimed at facilitating banking ties between the two neighboring countries.

The deal on the payment mechanism was signed in a meeting between Iran’s Abdolnaser Hemmati and Iraq’s Ali Mohsen al-Allaq in Baghdad on Tuesday night.

Speaking at the meeting, Hemmati described Iraq as Iran’s biggest trade partner and said banking relationship is the factor needed for the durability of bilateral ties between the two countries.

Hemmati further pointed to the US sanctions against Iran and said by waging an economic war against the Islamic Republic, Washington has made extensive efforts to disturb the economic and political conditions of Iran.

However, he added, with the arrangements made by Iran, fortunately, the enemy plots have been thwarted and the Iranian economy has become stable.

In addition to natural gas and electricity, Iraq imports a wide range of goods from Iran including food, agricultural products, home appliances, and air conditioners.

Speaking at a joint press conference with Iraqi President Barham Salih in Tehran in November, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said the value of trade and economic interaction between Tehran and Baghdad stands at around $12 billion, adding that the two neighbors have the potential for a $20-billion trade target.

Rouhani hoped that cooperation between Tehran and Baghdad would contribute to regional security and stability.

(Source: Tasnim, under Creative Commons licence)

Russia want More Projects with Iraq

By John Lee.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has said that Moscow is very interested in increasing trade, economic and investment ties with Iraq.

Following a meeting on Wednesday with Iraqi Foreign Minister Mohamed Ali Alhakim, he said:

In the field of investment, especially in the hydrocarbon sector, there is a very good result. Lukoil, Gazprom Neft, SoyuzNefteGaz are already working, Rosneft is interested in projects in Iraq. The total investment in this industry has already exceeded $ 10 billion.

“We want to promote projects in other areas. Today we talked about electricity, agriculture, industry, transport – all this will be considered in the context of preparations for the next meeting of the Russian-Iraqi Intergovernmental Commission on Trade, Economic, Scientific and Technical Cooperation.

He added that about 4 thousand Iraqi citizens are currently studying in universities of the Russian Federation, while dozens of diplomats from Iraq take part in special training courses at the Diplomatic Academy at the Russian Foreign Ministry.

(Source: Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs)

$1bn UK Financing for Iraqi Electricity

UK Export Finance (UKEF) has announced it will support UK firms with US $1.02 billion to build two new power stations in Iraq and support the restoration of a number of electricity substations in the country.

  • US $1.02 billion in support for UK firms to build two new power stations
  • Agreement will help build and refurbish numerous electricity substations across Iraq
  • Announcement reaffirms the UK’s commitment to Iraq’s continued economic development

US $620 million financing will go to support two contracts between GE and Iraq’s Ministry of Electricity to build two power stations in Samawa and Dhi Qar, located northwest of Basra, in southern Iraq.

UKEF had already provided initial support for the project; this additional financing supports the main construction phase of the project involving further procurement from UK suppliers through GE sub-contractor ENKA UK.

UKEF will also provide US $400 million to support a project by GE’s Grid Solutions, business to develop 14 sub-stations across Iraq. GE will build new substations on a turnkey basis and supply equipment such as transformers and other parts to rehabilitate existing substations, helping to bring power to areas with significant power shortages from the north to the south of the country.

This announcement follows the agreement between the governments of the UK and Iraq signed in March 2017, which re-affirmed the UK’s commitment to Iraq’s continued economic development.

This project will play a key role in bolstering the capacity of the Iraqi electricity grid, the two new power stations, located in the Basra region, will give citizens the access they need to critical infrastructure.

Baroness Fairhead (pictured), Minister of State for Trade and Export Promotion, said:

The scale of these contracts illustrates the demand for British expertise in the utilities sector and the level of support the government can give to British businesses looking to make the most of similar opportunities across the globe.

“The UK Government continues to be committed to Iraq’s economic development and I am delighted that UK Export Finance is supporting projects that will have such a direct impact on improving the country’s critical infrastructure and the lives of the Iraqi people.

Guto Davies, GE Energy Financial Services’ Global Capital Advisory Managing Director, said:

“The announcement of these new facilities further strengthens GE’s collaborations in Iraq to support the country’s power infrastructure and meet the growing need for electricity. GE recognises the importance of UKEF in supporting critical infrastructure projects in Iraq and the UK supply-chain. We are delighted they continue to fund major projects in the country’s power energy sector.”

Yavuz Akturk, Director at ENKA UK, said:

Power shortages continue to halt Iraq’s reconstruction and addressing this scarcity is crucial to the country’s future. As ENKA, we have taken a significant role in rebuilding the country’s infrastructure, and with these projects we will help the people in the country which are in urgent need for electricity.

“It would not be possible without the continuous support of the UK Government and the highly dedicated UKEF team; and we as ENKA, are grateful for the high-level support for these projects which will also provide great opportunities for the UK exporters.”

(Source: UK Govt)

TBI wins at International Finance Awards

The state-owned Trade Bank of Iraq (TBI) has been recognised for its outstanding performance and service, taking home two awards at the International Finance Awards 2018.

London based ‘International Finance’ magazine rewarded TBI’s continued commitment towards providing modern banking services in Iraq, presenting the ‘Best Retail Bank’ and ‘Best Priority Bank’ awards during a special ceremony held at the Jumeirah Emirates Towers in Dubai.

Faisal Al Haimus, Chairman & President of Trade Bank of Iraq, who received the awards at the ceremony said:

We are pleased to receive this esteemed award, which recognises our strong and personalised customer service along with our portfolio of retail products and priority services.

“These awards are not only an acknowledgement of TBI’s continuous efforts, but also a testimonial to the quality of the bank’s products and services, which have brought great satisfaction to customers.

“Setting new standards in the retail products and priority services through innovation and outstanding performance has always been one of the core strategic focus of our business and will continue to be the same for us going forward.”

TBI was established in July 2003 with the aim of helping in the reconstruction of Iraq by facilitating international trade and continues to be at the forefront of large-scale infrastructure developments across the country.

The institution’s financial network and expertise plays a significant role in sourcing and securing funding for projects. It established its first international office in the UAE in 2017 and has since signed several agreements with global banks and finance firms to help fund infrastructure projects inside Iraq.

Faisal Al Haimus added:

“This recognition is proof of the Bank’s constant ability to deliver a strong and solid performance. We will continue to innovate, improve and enhance our service quality to meet the growing demands, needs and expectations of our customers.”

International Finance Awards recognises industry talent, leadership skills, industry net worth and capability on an international platform. Winning banks were selected through a board of industry specialists drawn from international ratings agencies and some of the world’s leading financial centres after undergoing immense scrutiny based on growth, sustainability, their contribution to society and innovation.

(Source: TBI)

Al Maseer Insurance joins IBBC

Iraq Britain Business Council (IBBC) has announced that Al Maseer Insurance Company has joined the Council.

Founded in 2011, Al Maseer provide a range of insurance products covering the key sectors in Iraq: construction insurance, energy insurance, agriculture insurance, health insurance, marine insurance, motor insurance, property insurance.

Chairman and  co-founder, Arak Fadhil Hameed Al-Bayati, said the company is currently researching special cover for farms, loss of profits after a fire, and professional indemnity.

(Source: IBBC)

Moldova: The most Cost-Effective Passport from Europe

Advertising Feature

By Veronica Cotdemiey, CEO of Citizenship Invest.

Moldova: the most cost-effective passport from Europe

Citizenship by Investment has become one of the most reliable ways to obtain a legal citizenship and passport for many nationalities around the world. Allowing the ability to travel easily and secure a better future for individuals. However, when we talk about obtaining a fast-track second passport or citizenship and without immigration requirements, many come at a hefty price.

The Republic of Cyprus has one of the world’s most famous citizenship by investment programs and it is the only country that can offer a European nationality without ever needing to immigrate or prove residence in the country to obtain it. However, the property investment required to obtain the Cypriot citizenship stands at 2 million EURO which it is not affordable to large number of potential applicants. Many consider Caribbean countries like Dominica, St. Kitts & Nevis, St. Lucia, Antigua & Barbuda and Grenada through which they can achieve a second citizenship with a considerably lower investment amount.

For many investors in the region, some Caribbean countries can pose some difficulties to obtain their citizenship. In some cases, certain nationalities are banned from applying and they could encounter issues to transfer funds to the Government’s accounts due to intermediary banks based in the United States.

Moldova recently launched its citizenship program, the country is located in Europe and investors can obtain its passport without any residency requirements. The program is cost effective and has a quick processing time where applicants can obtain their citizenship in approximately 3 months. Moldovan citizens have visa-free travel to major countries around the world, most notably, Schengen countries, Russia and Turkey. The Moldovan citizenship program requires an applicant to transfer an amount of EUR 100,000 to Moldova’s Public Investment Fund. The amount goes up to EUR 155,000 for an applicant with more than 4 dependents. Another positive feature in Moldova’s CBI program is the ability to transfer citizenship to future generations without restrictions.

Moldova is a landlocked country in Eastern Europe with a 4 million population. The country is famous for its world-class wine industry and picturesque landscapes. The service sector has grown to dominate Moldova’s economy and currently composes over 60% of the nation’s GDP. In 2017, total bilateral trade between the EU and Moldova increased by 18% to €4 billion. The European Union’s imports from Moldova increased by 23% in 2017, to the value of €1.6 billion.

Although Moldova is not yet part of the European Union, the EU is Moldova’s first trading partner and the first investor in the country, accounting for over 55% of total trade. The value of agricultural, machinery and transport EU imported products from Moldova also grew confirming the positive trend of growth in Moldovan exports to the EU.

Moldova is actively pursuing joining the European Union member states through the EU Eastern Partnership policy. As part of its effort, Moldova is working on integrating various sectors such as transport, Energy, Technology, Media and Telecom with the EU for the possibility to deepen its corporation with the EU and increase the chances of becoming a member state.

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.