Archive | Mark DeWeaver on Investments and Finance

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Beyond Da’esh: An Inconvenient Truth

By Mark A. DeWeaver. Last week I had the pleasure of attending the American University of Iraq’s fifth annual Sulaimani Forum. This time the theme was “Beyond Da’esh: Ending the Cycle of Conflicts, Toward Durable Solutions.” Speakers included Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, KRG Deputy Prime Minister Qubad Talabani, Yezidi author and Da’esh survivor Fareeda […]

Making Ends Meet in Iraqi Kurdistan

By Mark DeWeaver. Last November I was back at the American University of Iraq’s Institute of International and Regional Studies in Sulimaniyah, researching a report on the KRG’s latest economic reform initiatives. I was surprised to find that the KRG now has some promising programs underway to increase revenues and cut expenses. Given the dire […]

A Case for Cash

By Mark DeWeaver. Nowadays one reads with increasing frequency that high-denomination bank notes should be eliminated. (Take this NY Times editorial as just one example.) Hundred dollar and five-hundred euro bills, it seems, are for cocaine cowboys and terrorists. Honest people use credit cards and checks or maybe their mobile phones. Some commentators even look […]

Kurdistan’s Great Recession

By Mark DeWeaver. In October I had the good fortune to spend some time in Sulimaniyah, at the American University of Iraq’s Institute for International and Regional Studies, where I worked on a research project with a group of student assistants. Our objective was to document the effects of the KRG budget crisis on the […]

Will the CBI Try Dinar QE?

By Mark DeWeaver. This year the Ministry of Finance (MoF) is set to sell IQD 11 trillion in new debt to the state sector banks, thereby partially filling the hole in the central government budget left by the recent collapse in oil prices. The new issuance should bring total treasury bills outstanding to IQD 18 […]

GDP Forecasters See 2015 Rebound

By Mark A. DeWeaver. Last month Barcelona-based economics consultancy FocusEconomics launched an interesting new product—a survey of professional forecasters for the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. The section on the Iraqi economy is particularly useful given the lack of attention this subject normally receives. It includes consensus projections for 25 macro variables going […]

Banks Signal Drop in Iraqi GDP

By Mark A DeWeaver. As of November 6, 18 of the 21 ISX listed banks have reported third quarter earnings. The numbers aren’t pretty. Rabee Securities’ latest corporate profits report shows bank-sector aggregate profits for the first nine months down 17% year-on-year. Taking out BUND, an obvious outlier with earnings growth of 115%, the decline […]

Rising Yields a Plus for Stocks

By Mark DeWeaver. Falling prices and higher dividends have led to a jump in ISX dividend yields this year. As of September 30, Rabee Securities’ RSISX index was yielding 4.5%, up from 1.5% in 2013 and 0.0% in 2012. Yields are also improving relative to local interest rates, which have been gradually declining. The RSISX […]

Bank Earnings Take a Hit

By Mark DeWeaver. It’s been lackluster year for the ISX-listed banks. Total pre-tax profit for the 12 non-Islamic lenders that have reported so far fell 12% in the first half on a 3% decline in operating revenue, an 8% increase in operating expense, and a 21% increase in administrative expense. Earnings dropped at 7 of […]

Has ISIS Killed Its Golden Goose?

By Mark DeWeaver. While it has long been assumed that ISIS gets most of its money from donors in the Gulf, recently declassified documents suggest otherwise. Researchers at the RAND Corporation found that donations actually accounted for less than 5% of the group’s funding during the period from 2005 to 2010. (See this article.) The […]

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