Posted on 31 July 2014.
It’s a well-known fact that Iraq Business News has the best-informed and most influential readers – you!
Now we want to hear your opinions about the current state of the country: How easy is it to do business? How is the security situation affecting you? And who do you think will lead it for the next four years?
So we invite you take part in our first online survey – State of Iraq 2014 — and can tell us what you think. It’s ten short multiple-choice questions which will only take a minute to complete.
We expect to publish results in early September.
Thanking you in advance,
Your Iraq Business News team.
Please click here to take part in our survey.
(Flag image via Shutterstock)
Posted in Blog, Industry & Trade, Politics
Posted on 29 July 2014.
In an interview wtih Al-Monitor‘s Mehmet Cetingulec, Turkey’s Minister of Economy Nihat Zeybekci said said the Islamic State (IS) is now contacting individual Turkish businessmen to call them back to Iraq:
Al-Monitor: The Islamic State is blocking Turkey’s exports to southern Iraq. Are you doing anything to overcome this?
Zeybekci: Of our exports, 70% is to the south of Iraq. We are trying multiple ways of overcoming this obstruction. We go south and follow the Iraqi-Iranian border but this adds significantly to costs, about $2,000 per truck.
Sometimes we enter Iran, then exit to Iraq. Turkish companies have signed major contracts in Iraq, promising to keep their shelves stocked. Our exports to Iraq are now down to 35% but Iraq cannot easily substitute other sources.
We think there will be a boom in demand soon. We also know that IS is contacting individual Turkish businessmen and telling them, “Come back, we won’t interfere.” That is not easy, of course. But when in the future Iraq is rebuilt, it will be Turkey doing it.
Posted in Industry & Trade, Security
Posted on 29 July 2014.
By John Lee.
A former contractor has been extradited from Iraq after six years on the run, making him the first person to be returned to the United States under the U.S.-Iraq extradition treaty of 1936.
Metin Atilan, 54, who has dual U.S. and Turkish citizenship, pleaded not guilty to fraud and conspiracy charges on Monday.
He is charged with conspiracy to engage in contract fraud, conspiracy to engage in wire fraud and wire fraud. If found guilty on all counts, he could be sentenced to 65 years in prison and fined more than $2 million.
(Fraud image via Shutterstock)
Posted in Security
Posted on 28 July 2014.
Rabee Securities Iraq Stock Exchange (ISX) market report (week ending: 24th July 2014).
Note: ISX will be closed starting from July 27, 2014 to July 31, 2014 due to the national holiday of Eid Al-Fitr. The next session will be held on Sunday, August 3, 2014.
Please click here to download a table of listed companies and their associated ticker codes.
The RSISX index ended the week at ID1,471 (-1.6%)/ $1,576 (-1.3%) (weekly change) (-21.1% and -20.7% YTD change, respectively). The number of week traded shares was 5.6bn and the weekly trading volume was ID8.3bn ($6.9mn).
ISX Company Announcements
- Iraqi Agricultural Products (AIRP) will hold its AGM* on Aug. 17, 2014 to discuss and approve 2013 annual financial results, distributing 50% cash dividend and elect new board members.
- Ready Made Clothes (IRMC) will hold its AGM* on Aug. 4, 2014 to discuss and approve 2013 annual financial results and decreasing 36% of the accumulated deficit. ISX will suspend trading of IRMC starting on July 27, 2014.
- Original shares of North Bank (BNOR) resumed trading on July 23, 2014 after they discussed and approved 2013 financial results and increasing its capital from IQD265bn to IQD300bn through 13.2% bonus issue.
- New shares of Union Bank (BUOI) from the capital increase to IQD252bn through 36.2% bonus and 29.6% rights issues resumed trading on July 23, 2014.
- Bank of Baghdad (BBOB) held its AGM* on July 23, 2014. In its AGM, BBOB approved distributing 11% cash dividend (IQD0.11 per share).
- Shares of Iraqi Islamic Bank (BIIB) resumed trading on July 22, 2014 after they discussed and approved 2013 financial results and distributing 9% (IQD0.09 per share) cash dividend.
- Original shares of Kharkh Tour A. City (SKTA) resumed trading on July 22, 2014 after they discussed and approved 2013 financial results and increasing its capital from IQD368mn to IQD500mn through 35.9% bonus issue.
- A cross transaction occurred on IQD200mn Asiacell (TASC) shares on July 22, 2014. This represents 0.1% of TASC capital.
- Original shares of Mamoura Real Estate (SMRI) resumed trading on July 21, 2014 after they discussed and approved 2013 financial results and increasing its capital from IQD15.010bn to IQD16.511bn through 10% rights issue.
- Iraqi Middle East Bank (BIME) held its AGM* on July 19, 2014. In its AGM, BIME approved distributing 10% cash dividend (IQD0.1 per share) Also, they decreased the accumulated deficit of IQD17bn.
Posted in Investment
Posted on 27 July 2014.
This article was originally published by Niqash. Any opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.
Giving Provinces More Power: Could Law 21 Save Iraq?
How can a country like Iraq – with its different sects, religions and ethnicities – be governed appropriately? Some are now suggesting that giving all of Iraq’s provinces the powers they were granted by a law amended mid-2013 could be a way out of the current crisis. Local authorities would govern themselves better than Baghdad and Iraq would remain united.
As Iraqi politicians have been trying to form a new government, more than one analyst has said that the country’s current crisis is due to the policies established by the most recent Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, and his desire to monopolize and centralize power. Various solutions have been suggested regarding the problem.
These have included introducing amendments to the Iraqi Constitution, creating new laws to reign in the Prime Minister’s powers or just simply removing al-Maliki from the job – which may well happen anyway as some of the Shiite Muslim Prime Minister’s most important allies seem to have deserted him.
However there is one other potential solution to at least some of Iraq’s current woes – and that is to properly enact, and then commit to, Law 21, which was amended by the Iraqi Parliament in the middle of 2013.
There are at least 18 Iraqi cities regularly complaining about the monopolization of power by Baghdad. They say the government interferes in provincial affairs far too much, that it makes decisions that actually go against the Iraqi constitution and that it prevents local officials from making good decisions and local appointments.
“Iraq is a country with many ethnicities, sects and religions,” explains local political analyst Saeed Radi. “It’s very difficult for any one party to manage all affairs. A Shiite Muslim-dominated government would be hard pressed to know what Iraq’s Sunni Muslims and Kurds want and need.”
Posted in Politics
Posted on 26 July 2014.
By Shaida al-Ameen for Al-Monitor. Any opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.
Kurdistan’s Ministry of Peshmerga Affairs said its troops are not attacking armed groups in Iraq, but are just taking defensive positions. It said the speeches of Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki do not scare the Kurds, and that the peshmerga forces did not seize weapons of the Iraqi army that was fleeing the battlefields.
In an exclusive interview with Al-Monitor, Peshmerga Ministry Secretary-General Jabbar Yawar said, “The peshmerga forces are not attacking terrorist groups, and are contenting themselves with taking defensive positions against them, as the distance between us and areas where terrorist groups are present is 1,000 kilometers [620 miles] in length and more than 500-600 kilometers [310-373 miles] in width. Thus, it is difficult to attack them within an area of hundreds of square kilometers.”
In a speech aired on Iraqi media channel Al-Babiliyah on July 2, Maliki rejected the de facto policy that emerged following the Mosul events, and demanded that the Kurds remain committed to the Iraqi Constitution. He threatened to restore areas that the peshmerga forces have controlled during the fall of the Sunni provinces to the Islamic State (IS), formerly known as the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham, or ISIS.
For his part, while attending a parliament session, Kurdistan Regional Government President Massoud Barzani said on July 3 that the peshmerga forces were present in the disputed areas before the events of Mosul, and there were areas where the peshmerga and the Iraqi army were present. Yet there are other areas that the peshmerga forces have entered to fill the security vacuum caused by the withdrawal of the Iraqi army that was present there. He noted that the peshmerga forces will not withdraw from these areas.
In response to Maliki, Yawar said, “We do not feel any threat coming from Maliki’s speech, and we hope that he will control the deteriorating situation in Iraq. Maliki is placed in a position where he cannot threaten any party, neither the Kurdistan region nor any neighboring country, and he does not have the ability to implement the threat. He would better think about controlling the situation in Mosul, Ramadi and Salahuddin as I think that he does not have an army to pose a threat to anyone.”
Posted in Oil & Gas, Security
Posted on 26 July 2014.
By Ali Mamouri for Al-Monitor. Any opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.
When George W. Bush invaded Iraq, he was criticized, including for being motivated by eschatology (the aspect of theology that deals with the end of days) and desiring to push a right-wing Christian agenda in terms of the Christian prophecy regarding armageddon.
Yet in 2003, no one foresaw the current conflict in Iraq that would lead many among the conflicting Iraqi parties to see the events as part of the prophecy of the end times, which could have an extensive impact on the conflict.
Religious visions of the apocalypse are applied to the Iraqi conflict in a structural and radical way. The religious aspect of the conflict has exceeded being mere strife between major religious denominations and sects in the country. Both Sunni and Shiite parties have made headway in applying the prophecy of the end times to current events, and have understood the recent developments as part of a prophetic context in their religious texts on the events of the end of days. This has not only exceeded the religious analysis of the events, it has even made both parties work according to this prophecy — with the religious prophecy having become an influential factor in the course of events in the country.
Abrahamic religions — Christianity, Islam and Judaism — despite having an overall structure of the end times, follow different scenarios on their prophecy of what will happen in the future. Jews associate the end with their final return to the Holy Land; Christians link it to the second coming of Christ; and Muslims see it by means of the spread of Islam throughout the entire world.
They all associate these events with major tragedies that will take place ahead of these times, and with extensive and violent conflicts that will ultimately lead to world peace. Yet, all of these narratives are built upon the basis of a binary struggle between good and evil that leads to the final defeat of evil and permanent triumph of good.
Posted in Security
Posted on 25 July 2014.
Itar-Tass reports that Russia’s Defense Minister, Sergei Shoigu (pictured), intends to expand military-technical cooperation with Iraq.
The Minister is quoted as saying:
“Military-technical cooperation between our countries develops successfully. The intergovernmental agreement proves its efficiency.
“We’re meeting with the Iraqi officials when the country faces difficulties.
“We support your efforts in fighting terrorism.
“We seek to relations with Iraq. This is our strategic priority.”
Iraqi Defense Minister Saadun Al-Dulaimi said:
“It is not a secret that now Iraq is facing difficulties. We’re fighting terrorism.
“Counter-terrorism is the priority of the world community. When we fight terrorism on our territory, we feel like we protect the world community.
“Now the Iraqi army needs weapons for continuing the fight.”
Posted in Security