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China to Stop Increasing Iraq Oil Orders

China to Stop Increasing Iraq Oil Orders

By John Lee.

Chinese oil companies are to maintain their purchasing of crude oil from Iraq’s State Oil Marketing Organization (SOMO) at the 2014 level for next year, according to a report from Reuters.

The decision has been attributed to a slowing of demand growth in China, the varying quality of Iraq’s “Basra Light” crude, and Iraq’s failure to deliver the full contracted volumes in 2014.

This is the first time in almost a decade that volumes have not increased year-on-year.

Reuters data shows that China’s crude imports from Iraq rose in the first ten months of the year by nearly a quarter to 23.49 million tonnes — equivalent to 566,387 bpd — compared with the same period of 2014.

(Source: Reuters)

Posted in Oil & Gas2 Comments

Dana Remains Committed to Iraq, Despite Claim

Dana Remains Committed to Iraq, Despite Claim

By John Lee.

Sharjah-based Dana Gas and its consortium partners, Crescent Petroleum and Pearl Petroleum, is pursuing $100 million (117 billion Iraqi dinars) in payments from the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG).

In a statement to the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange (ADX), the company said:

“The LCIA [London Court of International Arbitration] Tribunal recently ordered the KRG to pay the Consortium US$100 million within a timeframe of 30 days by way of a second interim order.

“In default of its legal obligations, the KRG failed to make payment by the stipulated deadline of 17th November 2014 and as a
consequence, the Tribunal’s order became peremptory in nature, enabling its enforcement by the English Court.

“With the Tribunal’s permission, on 12th December 2014, an application to the English Court has been made for enforcement of the order, with the prospect of sanctions being imposed on the KRG for non-compliance.”

But the company said that despite this, and a further multi-billion-dollar claim for breach of contract, which is due to be heard in April of next year, it remains committed to working in the Kurdistan and Iraq, adding:

“[We] sincerely hope that all outstanding contractual matters with the KRG be resolved, amicably and in good faith in the shortest possible time, within the contractual framework”.

“This will in turn enable the full and proper development of the Khor Mor and Chemchemal fields as envisaged by the Contract, for the benefit of the people of the Kurdistan region and all of Iraq.”

(Source: Dana Gas)

(Picture: Dana Gas operations in Iraqi Kurdistan)

Posted in Oil & Gas2 Comments

PM al-Abadi meets Iraqi Businessmen in UAE

PM al-Abadi meets Iraqi Businessmen in UAE

By John Lee.

Prime Minister Dr. Haider Al-Abadi met a number of locally-resident Iraqi businessmen in Abu Dhabi earlier this week.

He listened to the views, observations and suggestions delivered by the investors related to the laws and travel procedures that should be facilitated, in addition to the significance of providing a suitable environment for this vital sector, and making use of Iraqi skills in the fields of building and reconstruction.

The Prime Minister also directly responded to the questions and observations of the audience, affirming that the government is serious about supporting the private sector, and it works hard to provide suitable environment for the private sector to build Iraq.

(Source: Office of the Prime Minister)

Posted in Industry & Trade0 Comments

CEO Guilty in Iraq USAID Fraud

CEO Guilty in Iraq USAID Fraud

By John Lee.

The former CEO of US-based engineering consulting firm Louis Berger Group has pleaded guilty to overbilling for reconstruction contracts in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Bloomberg reports that Derish Wolff, 79, admitted that he conspired to defraud the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) over nearly 20 years, enriching himself and his company with money intended for important reconstruction projects.

Wolff is scheduled to be sentenced on 20th March, and could face up to 10 years in prison.

(Source: Bloomberg)

(Corruption image via Shutterstock)

Posted in Construction & Engineering, Security2 Comments

Mawada – a promise of hope from a new generation of women in Iraq

Mawada – a promise of hope from a new generation of women in Iraq

December 2014. A year of adversity and endurance and yet also opportunity  in Iraq. As the Editor in Chief of Nina Magazine, a bilingual magazine in print and online for Iraqi women everywhere, I passionately believe in the power of young people to step up, once they believe they can do something. That of course is the importance of education – creating not just the tools of knowledge, but also confidence and understanding of how their actions are able to impact immediate communities. I am therefore delighted to share with you a story first published in nina-iraq.com (arabic.nina-iraq.com). A group of girls from Baghdad, all still in education have started the  Mawada initiative to support displaced Iraqi families.

Refusing to just helplessly watch the unfolding crisis in some areas of Iraq six friends working together were determined to act in order to help those thousands of Iraqis, displaced and starving, due to the current security situation.

Sarah Mazin, a member of Mawada Group goes on to share:

“We were thinking of a way to help those displaced people who were out of reach of humanitarian aid. It’s winter time and everything is needed. We need to do something. Our goal is to help the young women believe in themselves, and build their own future. ”

The group was formed by six friends – students in the colleges of Arts and Media. Supported by their families, these young women launched a voluntary work group on facebook. They then invited other women to participate in a one-day handicraft bazaar in one of Baghdad’s social clubs. The aim was to sell the hand-made products and use the money  to help the displaced families. The advertisement was simple but meaningful: Do you want to help the displaced people but don’t know how? Visit us at the Bazar. Shopping is sweet. Yet, good deeds are even sweeter. In just over a month period, the participants for products increased to 70, and the bazaar was a big success. Not content with the 2,400 USD that had raised, and notwithstanding the challenging security circumstances, the group then proceeded to deliver aid themselves to the displaced families!

The bazaar reflected a warm atmosphere of love and caring, a direct translation of the spirit of Mawada. All kinds of hand-made jewellery, flowers, postcards and sweets formed a colorful collection, delivering a clear message that individuals can make a difference.

The Group has implemented several humanitarian activities as well. For example, they are distributing school clothes and stationary to orphans. They are also planning to organize online training on computer programs and handcraft activities, when they have achieved the funding they need.Images from nina-iraq.com

Moving forwards, these young heroines are determined not to rest on their laurels. Instead they are planning to register their community group as an NGO. Sarah has the last word.

“By registering as an NGO we will be able to help many more people. We believe self-development is very important and so, by enabling young girls to build their skills and thus capacity for employment and even entrepreneurship, we are showing them that the world is wide open for them to succeed. Please go to our  Facebook Page  for further information.”

Determination, courage and vision – and thanks to publications such as Nina magazine and Iraq Business News awareness for these wonderful initiatives can be created. Never forget, awareness creates motivation and motivation leads to action. So, I will leave you with a final thought for 2015,

“The voice of a nation united, that reflects both new and old ways

By lighting a path for tomorrow, we can connect our todays.”

(see full version here)

Nina Issue 2 is out now. You can see the published version here. 

Posted in Madeleine White10 Comments

KRG to US: ‘This is Iraq’s Last Chance’

KRG to US: ‘This is Iraq’s Last Chance’

During a speech to an audience of top Washington scholars and officials at the Center from Strategic International Studies (CSIS), Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) Deputy Prime Minister Qubad Talabani said, ‘Iraq can only be saved if Baghdad is willing to devolve some of its powers to regional authorities and be more inclusive of minorities.’

He said that the poor policies of the previous government alienated the Sunnis of the country, adding, ‘The Islamic State did not fill a security vacuum, but a political vacuum.’

The Deputy Prime Minister (DPM) concluded a four-day visit to Washington on Thursday, December 11, 2014. The visit included numerous meetings with senior US administration officials and members of Congress, events at leading think tanks, a roundtable discussion with US business leaders, and interviews with several news agencies.

In an opinion published in the Wall Street Journal, Mr Talabani laid out the challenges that Iraq will face in the future, calling for a return to the federalist structure of the Iraqi Constitution. He applauded the recent negotiations with Baghdad, but said that this is ‘Iraq’s last chance’ to succeed.

Earlier this month the KRG reached an agreement with Baghdad to contribute 250,000 bpd of Kurdish oil and 300,000 bpd from the Kirkuk oilfields to the Iraqi central marketing authority in return for the disbursement of the KRG’s share of Iraqi federal oil revenues. The negotiations demonstrated a possible rapprochement in Erbil-Baghdad relations.

‘US airstrikes have succeeded in ending the expeditionary ventures of the Islamic State, forcing them to change tactics. However, defeating these terrorists will require greater cooperation between Kurdish, Iraqi, and international security forces,’ the DPM said at a meeting with Representative Devin Nunes. Rep. Nunes, the new Chairman of the House Select Committee on Intelligence, praised the Peshmerga for their efforts in combating ISIS and highlighted US-KRG cooperation at the Joint Operations Center in Erbil.

Posted in Politics, Security2 Comments

Iraq Stock Market Report

Iraq Stock Market Report

Advertising Feature

Rabee Securities Iraq Stock Exchange (ISX) market report (week ending: 11th December 2014).

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

The RSISX index ended the week at ID1,373 (+0.2%)/ $1,489 (+0.2%) (weekly change) (-26.4% and -25.0% YTD change, respectively). The number of week traded shares was 2.8bn and the weekly trading volume was IQD3.5bn ($2.9mn).

ScreenHunter_1300 Dec. 13 17.54

 

ISX Company Announcements

  • Iraqi Agricultural Prod. Mark. Meat (AIPM) will hold its AGM* on Dec. 24, 2014 to discuss and approve 2012 & 2013 annual financial results, increasing its capital from IQD4.1bn to IQD4.5bn through bonus issue, and transferring the remaining surplus to the cumulative surplus item. The meeting agenda is also including the review of the current investment contracts, approving the new proposal for partnership with Turkish company (BM EPC) and electing new board members. (Please refer to our Daily published on Thursday (Dec.11) for the details)
  • Central Bank of Iraq (CBI) announced that, referenced to its letter no. (9/2/14779) dated on Sep. 28, 2014 about blocking United Bank (BUND) to issue letters of guarantees, CBI approved the resumption of the issuance of letters of guarantees. BUND should continue with the payments of all required amounts to the beneficiaries, and confirm on applying the laws and the instructions concerning with issuing letters of guarantees whether they were local or foreign clients. BUND will hold its AGM* on Dec. 18, to discuss and approve 2013 annual financial results. ISX suspended trading of BUND starting on Dec. 11, 2014.
  • Modern Animal & Agr. Production (AMAP) will hold its AGM* on Dec. 29, 2014 to discuss and approve 2013 annual financial results, increasing its capital from IQD3.6bn to IQD3.9bn through 8.5% bonus issue and distributing 4% cash dividend (IQD0.04 price per share). ISX will suspend trading of AMAP starting on Dec. 22, 2014.
  • Al-Sadeer Hotel (HSAD) will hold its AGM* on Dec. 21, to discuss and approve merging the calculations of 2012 & 2013 annual financials, decreasing the accumulated deficit of 2007, 2012 & 2013 and electing new board members. ISX will suspend trading of HSAD starting on Dec. 14.
  • Iraqi Engineering Works (IIEW) will hold its AGM* on Dec. 23, 2014 to discuss and approve 2013 annual financial results, dealing with the difference in tax of 2013 and presenting the company’s sites for investment. ISX will suspend trading of IIEW starting on Dec. 16, 2014.
  • Asiacell (TASC) will hold its AGM* on Dec. 17, 2014 to elect new board members.
  • New shares of Al-Ameen for Insurance (NAME) from the capital increase to IQD3bn through 50% bonus issue resumed trading on Dec. 10, 2014.
  • Outstanding points from the Second Iraqi Banking Conference held in Baghdad on November 29, 2014: The private banking sector should be part of the decision making mechanism in economic and financial matters through suggesting a representative network of private banks in the committee of economic affairs in the House of Representatives and in the board of directors of CBI. (Please refer to our Daily published on Tuesday (Dec.9) for the details)
  • According to the announcement by the CBI on December 7, 2014, one of the Rafidain Bank’s employees committed a number of irregularities on the bank accounts in collusion with some of the customers by transferring large amounts from the bank accounts to these customers’ accounts in different banks. The CBI has formed a committee with the Rafidain Bank administration the day after noticing the case. (Please refer to our Daily published on Monday (Dec.8) for the details)
  • Gulf Insurance&Reinsurance (NGIR) will hold its AGM* on Dec. 15, 2014 to discuss and approve 2013 annual financial results and increasing its capital through rights issue. ISX suspended trading of NGIR starting on Dec. 8.

Posted in Investment7 Comments

Petronas “Can make it Work” in Iraq

Petronas “Can make it Work” in Iraq

By John Lee.

The upstream international vice-president of Malaysia’s Petronas, Sharbini Suhaili, has reportedly said that Petronas was the largest international oil company in Iraq, and that the assets returns were promising despite numerous challenges.

There are always challenges.

“We can make it work and we are working well with our partners.”

(Source: AsiaOne)

(Picture: Halfaya oil field, in which Petronas is involved)

Posted in Oil & Gas5 Comments

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