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 equity market, as measured by the RSISUSD index, ended an Eid-shortened month on June 22nd, down -3.5% following the pattern set during the last few months, i.e. continued declines on low turnover (see chart in attached report).
The pace of the decline, however, decelerated somewhat from that of the last three months in which it was down -11.7%, -5.8% and -6.7 respectively. However, unlike the last few months, the index spent most of the time in marginally positive territory with the declines taking place during the last week driven by heightened concerns of large scale foreign selling.
The liberation of Mosul should be followed by the reconstruction of the city and the liberated areas which would be the theme for the Iraq investment story over the next few years. While the government is targeting about USD 100 billion for the reconstruction of the liberated third of the country and seeking international aid/loans for this endeavour, the reconstruction effort is led by the local population acting on their own accord.
Reports from Mosul and Ramadi show local rebuilding starting with clearing the wreckage of war, re-installing basic services, repairing and rebuilding of homes, businesses re-opening and all efforts at return to normality but crucially it is coupled with accelerated foreign aid led by the UN as this article on shows.
The sense of a determined return to normality can be felt in the images of cafés and restaurants teeming with life in Mosul especially in the last few days of Ramadan and the start of Eid while the last sounds of war were deafening in the remaining ISIS pockets in Mosul’s old city.
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.