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Agility Iraq receives ISO Certification

Agility Iraq receives ISO Certification

By John Lee.

Agility’s GCC Services subsidiary in Basra has received the ISO 9001 certification, making it the first integrated remote site services company in the city to receive the certification.

The United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS) accreditation certificate was given following a site audit conducted by Bureau Veritas.

TradeArabia reports that the Iraq unit serves small and large scale projects and currently operates 33 hard structures, 28 camps and 22 warehouses in remote and high-risk areas of the country. The company has also constructed 17 temporary dining facilities, including the largest in Iraq, with over 10,000 meals served every day.

Rashad Sinokrot, CEO of GCC Services, said:

With the security situation being what it has been over the past few years, it is no small feat to receive the ISO 9001 certification in Iraq.

“This independent verification underlines the technical and management capabilities of the company and is a reassurance to our customers that their needs are being looked after by the best team in Iraq.”

(Source: TradeArabia)

Posted in Industry & Trade0 Comments

Zain Iraq Applies for Share Listing

Zain Iraq Applies for Share Listing

By John Lee.

Zain Iraq has applied for a listing on the Baghdad stock exchange (ISX).

As part of their 15-year licences awarded in 2007, Iraq’s three mobile network operators — Zain, Asiacell and Korek — were required to float at least a quarter of their shares and join the Iraq Stock Exchange (ISX) by August 2011.

So far only Asiacell has floated, and fines are being levied against the others.

Abdul Razzaq Al-Saadi [Abdul Razaq Dawood Al-Sa’di], Chairman of the Iraqi Securities Commission (ISC), told Reuters:

“They (Zain Iraq) have preliminary approval …  There are some technicalities that need to be ironed out, such as the mechanism of listing and subsequent trading and some further requirements from Zain that they have pledged to sort out.”

Once given final approval Zain Iraq will have two months to list otherwise its application will be void.

(Source: Reuters)

Posted in Investment, Telecoms/Comms6 Comments

IFC Invests in Al Safi Danone Iraq

IFC Invests in Al Safi Danone Iraq

The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, is investing up to $18 million in Saudi dairy company Al Safi Danone’s Iraq-based subsidiary, to expand its operations in order to improve domestic food security, boost Iraq’s non-oil sector, and reduce its reliance on imported dairy products.

IFC’s long-term investment, which is structured as an Islamic Finance transaction, will help Al Safi Danone Iraq, a pioneer in the Iraqi food production industry, increase production of high-quality dairy products to meet rising demand, improve food distribution standards, and create more than 250 new jobs in the next two years.

The company’s new greenfield dairy processing facility in the Kurdistan Region has a target production capacity of around 59,000 tons per year, focusing initially on a range of spoonable and drinkable yogurt products, as well as cheese and UHT milk.

George Abi Najem, General Manager GCC, Iraq and Levant, of Al Safi Danone, said:

This investment will help us establish a modern dairy enterprise with the latest processing and packaging equipment and train our employees to international standards.

“Thanks to this technology, the local market will enjoy higher quality dairy products at affordable prices. Al Safi Danone’s new factory in northern Iraq is just the first sign of the group’s commitment to Iraq, one of the most important markets in the region, despite its challenges.

IFC’s investment is part of a broader World Bank Group strategy to encourage South-South investments, while supporting the diversification of Iraq’s economy and improved agricultural production to boost growth. Food production and distribution will play a key role in transitioning Iraq from an oil-based economy to a more diversified one.

Mouayed Makhlouf, IFC Director for the Middle East and North Africa, added:

Our developmental role in Iraq is more important than ever, especially in providing funding to competitive companies in the non-oil sector and facilitating investments from other countries within the region into Iraq.

“We hope our commitment to this project will encourage other international and domestic investors to invest in Iraq.

Over the next few years, IFC is planning to step up its investment and advisory services in Iraq, investing $100-130 million per year, depending on the security situation, in priority sectors such as infrastructure and financial markets.

Al Safi Danone Iraq is a joint venture of the Saudi dairy company Al Safi Danone, Saudi conglomerate Al Faisaliah Group, French-based multinational Danone Group, and Iraq based retailing, sales, and distribution company Al Yasra. Its mission is to provide healthy products to support the well-being of Iraqi families based on a balanced diet that includes dairy products. Al Safi Danone Iraq is working to serve the Iraqi market with a range of products of the highest international quality standards, such as Activia.

(Source: IFC)

Posted in Agriculture, Employment, Industry & Trade, Investment5 Comments

The Future is Coming – Oil and Gas in Iraq

The Future is Coming – Oil and Gas in Iraq

By Samar Rassam, CEO of Somer Industrial Projects (SIP).

This is an extract from an article originally published by Nina Iraq, and is reproduced here with permission.

As always, when returning to my column in Nina Magazine, I reflect on the past few months. It has been a very busy time. I am excited to see developments and opportunities arising which would not have been possible this time last year.

In March 2015, I attended an event in Erbil organised by the Iraqi British Business Council (IBBC) regarding business opportunities between UK, Iraq and Kurdistan. I met attendees from various Iraqi Chambers of Commerce covering all the country’s regions.

Over the two day event much was discussed. The panels covered the Oil & Gas Sector and Higher Education. Training was discussed too, with talk of linking private sector capabilities to the energy sector. I was also pleased to hear that a united Iraq seemed to be at the top of the agenda for most delegates.

Although this united vision seems to be the common goal, it is also one of the main challenges and directly impacts the economic and social development of Iraq. My personal view is that, in order for Iraq to get to where Iraq wants to be, the need for an improved standard of education is still paramount.

In simple terms, the country holds almost nine per cent of global oil reserves and a vast wealth of natural resources. This means that Iraq will have a critical role supporting the future worldwide demands for oil.

In order to meet these demands efficiently an ‘enabling commercial environment’ for international trade must be assured. The people of Iraq must embrace the role they have to play in facilitating this – building a united, peaceful and prosperous future for all.

Please click here to view the full article.

Posted in Industry & Trade, Oil & Gas7 Comments

Iraq’s Brain Drain Continues

Iraq’s Brain Drain Continues

By Wassim Bassem for Al-Monitor. Any opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

Youths in Iraq dream of leaving the country. The successive wars since 1980 and in particular the violence that has been part of daily life in Iraq since 2003 have caused waves of emigration over the years.

Iraqis have lived through many conflicts over the last few decades: the Iran-Iraq war of 1980-88, the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait in 1990 and the subsequent embargo and war, followed by the war in 2003 to topple Iraqi President Saddam Hussein.

The conflict between Iraqi forces and Islamic State (IS) militants, who occupied Mosul on June 10, 2014, have further escalated the violent situation Iraqis, young and old, live in today. Youths are again searching for a new place to live in, outside Iraq.

Social researcher Qassim Mohammad told Al-Monitor that the emigration issue has become a significant concern as “a lot of young people now believe that every war in Iraq gives birth to a new war, and that seeking a future in Europe or the United States is their best option.”

Luay Hamid graduated from the faculty of agriculture at the University of Baghdad in 2012. He told Al-Monitor, “Thinking about emigrating is not enough. One must have the money for it, [money] that a lot of young people don’t have. … I tried to emigrate to Europe in 2013 after I had saved $4,000. I traveled to Jordan and stayed there to find a way to be smuggled into Europe. … I met two smugglers who asked for $10,000 to get me to Germany or the Netherlands via Istanbul, Turkey. But I had to return to [Iraq] because I didn’t have that much money.”

According to a 2013 study by the International Organization for Migration in cooperation with the British Foreign Ministry, 99% of young people in southern Iraq and 79% of those in Iraqi Kurdistan wish to emigrate.

Posted in Education & Training, Employment3 Comments

Video: No Foreign Military in Iraq – Jaafari

Video: No Foreign Military in Iraq – Jaafari

From Al Jazeera. Any opinions expressed are those of the authors, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

In its fight against the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, ISIS, IS), Iraq is now desperate for advanced weapons and help from the United States.

A delegation led by Iraq’s Prime Minister Haider al-Abbadi is at the White House trying to convince US President Barack Obama to provide substantial financial and military aid.

For Iraqi Foreign Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari, however, defeating ISIL is really just a matter of time, he says.

But there are serious problems. Iraq’s army has been weakened over the last few years, so instead the fight is led by predominantly Shia militias known as Popular Mobilisation Forces, and they are at the forefront of the battles in Tikrit, Ramadi and Mosul.

But even as they push back against ISIL, they now have to defend themselves against allegations that they, in turn, are committing atrocities against Sunnis; accusations that al-Jaafari denies.

Iraq of course is not the only area in the Middle East where fighting along sectarian lines is taking place.

In Yemen, a Saudi-led coalition is now waging attacks on the Houthis who are receiving assistance from the Iranians. But Iraqis have decided to stay out of the fight, saying that diplomacy should be given a chance.

Iraq’s Foreign Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari talks to Al Jazeera about the fight against ISIL, sectarianism and the ongoing confrontations in the Middle East.

Posted in Politics, Security1 Comment

Iran starts Testing Iraq Gas Pipeline

Iran starts Testing Iraq Gas Pipeline

By John Lee.

Iran’s PressTV reports that preliminary tests have been carried out over 50 kilometers of the final stretch of the pipeline from Assaluyeh, near Iran’s offshore South Pars oil and gas field, to Iraq.

A spokesman for the National Iranian Gas Company (NIGC) said the next test will be carried out over the remaining 47 kilometers of the pipeline, running to the border city of Naftshahr, in the near future.

Exports will start once the final test has been carried out.

The two countries signed an agreement in July 2013 to transfer natural gas from Iran to the Iraqi power plants of Al-Baghdad and Al-Mansouriyah.

(Source: PressTV)

Posted in Oil & Gas4 Comments

Iraq Stock Market Report

Iraq Stock Market Report

Advertising Feature

Rabee Securities Iraq Stock Exchange (ISX) market report (week ending: 16th April 2015).

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

The RSISX index ended the week at ID1,129 (-1.6%)/ $1,127 (-1.2%) (weekly change) ) (-19.0% and -24.0% YTD change, respectively). The number of week traded shares was 16.8bn and the weekly trading volume was IQD16.3bn ($12.5mn).

ScreenHunter_1663 Apr. 20 11.13

 

ISX Company Announcements

  • Al-Noor For Money Transfer (MTNN) completed the listing procedures to be listed on the non-regular market and will start trading on Apr. 30, 2015.
  • Al-Rabita Almalia For Money Transfer (MTRA) completed the listing procedures to be listed on the non-regular market and will start trading on Apr. 28, 2015.
  • Baghdad Soft Drinks (IBSD) will hold its AGM* on Apr. 30, 2015 to discuss and approve 2014 annual financial results and distributing cash dividend. IBSD also invited its shareholders to visit the company’s headquarters to receive their stock certificate and cash dividends from the profits of previous years. ISX will suspend trading of IBSD starting on Apr. 23, 2015.
  • A cross transaction occurred on IQD12.5bn National Bank (BNOI) shares on Apr. 16, 2015. This represents 5% of BNOI capital. The sellers were Khaled Ahmed Dahi Al-Shammari and Fadhel Ahmed Dahi Al-Shammari and the buyer was Abas Fadhel Ahmed Dahi Al-Shammari.
  • Original shares of Iraqi for Seed Production (AISP) resumed trading on Apr. 14, 2015 after they approved annual financial results (annual period of AISP is ended on March 31, 2014), increasing its capital from IQD5.1bn to IQD7.5bn through 46.24% bonus issue, distributing 60% cash dividend (IQD0.60 price per share), closing all of the remaining deficit and delaying closing the cash & inventory differences (war damages) to the next year.
  • According to Agricultural Cooperation Bank letter no 4539 dated on Mar. 29, 2015 sent to ISC, according to the given permissions by section (2) Government Debt Collection Law no 56 for the year 1977, the liquid and illiquid fixed assets of Dijlah & Furat Bank (BDFD) were blocked, corresponding to an amount of IQD40bn, against performed bond issues by this bank which haven’t been paid yet.
  • According to CBI letter no (9/3/97) dated on Mar. 29, 2015 to the state ministries and all non ministries’ departments about the government and private sectors, CBI asked them to accept all the approved cheques issued by the private banks which are licensed by the CBI. In addition, CBI asked them to consider this issue very important.
  • Iraq Registrar of Companies approved the decisions of Elaf Islamic Bank (BELF) including increasing its capital from IQD152bn to IQD200bn through 11.5% bonus and 20.1% rights issues.
  • Iraq Registrar of Companies approved the decisions of Commercial Bank of Iraq (BCOI) including the approval of distributing 3.7% cash dividend (IQD0.037 price per share), while not approving 2013 annual financial results until the CBI will provide an answer and clarification upon their request about the amount of $20mn that was recorded under “Customer Custody” item. BCOI declared that this amount represented Iraqi Government bonds which were showed in Ahli United Bank statement as deposit and its custody with international custodian bank. The Registrar also didn’t approve cancelling some of the old doubtful debts of less than and equal to IQD1.5mn.
  • Iraqi for General Transportation (SIGT) resumed trading on Apr. 12, 2015 after fulfilling ISC’s disclosure requirements.

Posted in Investment8 Comments

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