Trade Bank of Iraq

Trade Bank of Iraq “looking to acquire a Turkish lender”

By John Lee.

The State-owned Trade Bank of Iraq (TBI) is reportedly looking to acquire a lender in Turkey, the country’s biggest trade partner, after abandoning a previous attempt.

Chairman Faisal Al Haimus is quoted by The National as saying that the TBI is keen on a conventional bank rather than a Sharia-compliant bank, but he declined to name a target.

Buying a Turkish bank would be the TBI’s first overseas acquisition, which will be financed from $350 million the lender earmarked for buying assets.

More here.

(Source: The National)

GE, Standard Chartered, TBI close $600m Financing

By John Lee.

General Electric (GE), Standard Chartered Bank and the state-run Trade Bank of Iraq (TBI) are reported to have jointly closed a $600-million financing agreement to fund the ambitious electricity project ‘Power Up Plan’ in Iraq.

According to Trade Arabia, the project will be implemented in two phases, providing more than 2 gigawatts (GW) of new power, and ensuring continuity of supply of up to 6.7 GW to Iraq’s grid.

The financing arrangement is said to be the largest bespoke Letter of Credit (LC) confirmation and discounting transaction of its kind in the region.

(Source: Trade Arabia)

Trade Bank in talks to Buy a Gulf Lender

By John Lee.

The state-owned Trade Bank of Iraq (TBI) is reported to be in talks to buy a Gulf bank with branches in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Qatar.

Chairman Faisal al-Haimus told Reuters that talks are underway and the purchase is expected to be completed in six to eight months. The name of the bank was not disclosed.

According to the report, Haimus was in Abu Dhabi to sign a 100 million euros ($115.5 million) loan agreement with Germany’s Commerzbank to enable it to support small and medium sized projects in Iraq.

More here.

(Source: Reuters)

TBI puts Bank Acquisition Plans on Hold

By John Lee.

The state-owned Trade Bank of Iraq (TBI) has reportedly put plans to buy a Turkish commercial bank on hold because of the fall in the Turkish lira.

TBI chairman Faisal al-Haimus told Reuters that the bank is keen to expand its footprint in Turkey, Iraq’s largest trading partner.

According to the report, TBI has assets of around $20 billion, and is responsible around 80 percent of the trade finance business in Iraq.

(Source: Reuters)

Trade Bank of Iraq to establish Saudi branch

By John Lee.

The state-owned Trade Bank of Iraq (TBI) has reportedly received verbal approval from the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA) to open a branch in Saudi Arabia next year.

Chairman Faisal Al Haimus told The National in Abu Dhabi that the bank will launch an asset management business in Abu Dhabi.

The lender is considering several options to expand its presence in the GCC region.

(Sources: The National, Reuters)

New Financing for Iraqi Projects

By John Lee.

GE, Trade Bank of Iraq (TBI) and Standard Chartered Bank (SCB) have reportedly signed a financing MoU to accelerate the development of power and infrastructure projects in Iraq.

According to TradeArabia, a similar financing agreement with the three entities earlier this year facilitated the completion of the first phase of the ‘Power Up Plan’ signed by GE with the Ministry of Electricity to deliver more than 700 MW of power.

It adds that over the past year GE has attracted “more than nine” (sic) major global export credit agencies to Iraq, resulting in significant project investment commitment.

(Source: TradeArabia)

NIC grants $90bn in Investment Licences since 2009

The Elaborated Economic Conference for Investment Projects in Iraq was held in Baghdad on 17th October, organized by the Supreme Committee of Provincial Coordination and the National Investment Commission (NIC), with the attendance of a number of Parliament members, Ministers, Governors, Heads of Provincial Councils, Heads of Provincial Investment Commissions in addition to representatives of banks, foreign and Iraqi investors and businessmen, aiming at activating the suspended investment projects in all Iraqi provinces and announcing new investment opportunities.

The conference started with a welcoming speech by the head of the Supreme Committee of Provincial coordination, Dr. Torhan Al- Mufti who noted that the event would consist of four workshops; each one would be concerned with a number of provinces and the projects available there to be discussed with investors through an open dialogue.

Dr. Mahdi Al- Alaq, the General Secretary of the Ministers’ Council who represented H.E Prime Minister of Iraq by an opening speech through which he conveyed the Government’s interest and direction of activating and supporting private sector by holding several meetings that resulted in ratifying a package of recommendations in coordination with the concerned banks to ensure their leading role in the economic field.

Al-Alaq also referred to the Government’s decision to pay the contractors’ dues, though partially, and lay down mechanisms for postponed payment is a decision that confirmed its keenness to proceed with investment movement, showing his hope that this event can achieve positive results in the work of the concerned executive sides.

Dr. Sami Al- Araji, NIC Chairman reviewed the work of the National Investment Commission since the investment law approval in 2006, adding that the NIC has granted 1336 investment licences between 2009 and 2016, with a total value of $90.1 billion, distributed across various economic fields.

Al-Araji asserted that the NIC had announced 940 investment opportunity in 2015 and 992 opportunities in 2016 in different sectors and provinces, presenting an overview of these investment opportunities in the fields of Oil & Gas, power, housing, transport, industry, tourism, services, youth & sport, and agriculture.

The opening session also consisted of speeches from the DG of te Trade Bank of Iraq (TBI), Mr. Faisal Al- Heimas; IFC regional manager Mr. Ziad Badr, and the financial manager of GE company.

(Source: NIC)

Ideal Payments Launches Mobile App in Iraq

Banking Technology reports that Ideal Payments has teamed with Taif Money Transfer to launch Iraq’s “first” mobile payments app – Taif eWallet.

The platform aims to create a “holistic payments ecosystem” used by multiple agents in the economy including retail merchants, ecommerce platforms, private companies, and government institutions.

Ideal Payments’ local partner, Taif Money Transfer, will operate the service, using its existing agent network across Iraq.

Ideal Payments says its role is to select and customise the appropriate technology, prepare the business plan and execute the strategy to spread the service in Iraq. The technology is powered by Monniz, a Belgian mobile money service provider.

Ideal Payments says it was set up and is run by a team with experience from both global and local financial services, including banks such as Goldman Sachs and the Trade Bank of Iraq (TBI).

According to Ideal Payments, Iraq, a country of 35 million inhabitants, remains a cash based society at large with a significant unbanked population. Bank account penetration is below 10 percent and debit card penetration below 3 percent.

The firm says that issues such as “inaccessibility, inefficiency, and unaffordability deter customers from using traditional financial services”.

It adds: “Trust also remains a key issue for the Iraqi banking sector, which customers hold in low regard following decades of mismanagement and corruption.

(Source: Banking Technology)

Baroness Nicholson’s Speech to Investment Forum

Speech given by Baroness Nicholson of Winterbourne, UK Trade Envoy for Iraq and Chairman of the Iraq Britain Business Council, to the ‘Investment Forum in Iraq and Kurdistan Region’, Rotana Hotel, Erbil:

‘I am indeed grateful for the privilege of addressing this eminent audience,and I thank most warmly the President of The Kurdistan Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry and President of the Erbil Chamber, Mr Dara Al-Khayat for his kind invitation and for his Federations’s continuing great work.

May I thank too the President of the Iraqi Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Mr Jaafar Al-Hamdani. The Chambers of his Federation, who cover the Federal Republic of Iraq are well known to us all for their continuing hard work, overall excellence and high standards. And I thank the Governor, Mr Nowzad Hadi and the people of Erbil for their gracious hospitality throughout this conference.

It was indeed a pleasure to hear the Governor speak earlier this morning; and for the conference to be addressed first by Deputy Prime Minister Dr Roche Nuri Shaways who powerfully reminded us of the huge investment opportunities now offered throughout the regions of Iraq and Kurdistan. His Excellency Mr Adnan Kassar brings the entire Arab Union Chambers of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture to Erbil and his members know of the extraordinary business and industry strengths Iraq and the Kurdistan region possess.

I speak today as Chairman of the Iraq Britain Business Council,which is based in London, Erbil, Basra and Baghdad. Our work is designed to facilitate stronger commercial and industrial partnerships between our countries,and to open up new opportunities for our member companies in Britain and Iraq.

We are an international organisation which takes full advantage of the global reach of the City of London and, too, of the truly international nature of the UK. Our membership reflects Britain’s multinational businesses and is not confined to companies that began in the UK.