Tag Archives | banking

Iraq in the Global Marketplace

By Padraig O’Hannelly. This week in London, the Iraq Britain Business Council (IBBC) held its annual Autumn Conference, taking as its theme “Iraq in the Global Marketplace“. A full house of senior executives, diplomats and public officials shared their views and experiences of business in Iraq, and discussed what Iraq can do to raise its […]

Banks Refuse to Ante Up amid Liquidity Shortage

By Amina al-Dahabi for Al-Monitor. Any opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News. Iraq’s private banking sector is having trouble meeting customers’ demands because of liquidity issues, leading to unrest and worry. Some banks are limiting withdrawals to a specific percentage of deposited funds, while others have stopped […]

CBI Lends $5.1bn Iraqi Banks

By John Lee. The Central Bank of Iraq (CBI) has allocated $5.1 billion (6 trillion Iraqi dinars) in loans to banks in a bid to keep a handle on inflation. Ali Allaq, Central Bank general manager, told the Al-Hayat newspaper on Monday that the CBI is responsible for the stability of the market, adding that […]

In State Banks We Trust

By Mark DeWeaver. 2013 was another strong year for deposit growth at the ISX-listed banks. Deposits at the 19 names that have so far reported year-end financials were up 17% year-on-year as of December 31. (Only BDFD and BELF, which together accounted for 8% of 2012 listed-bank deposits, have yet to report.) While their deposit […]

Iraq’s Missing Market

By Mark DeWeaver. In my last post I argued that Iraqi banks’ high cash/deposit ratios are due to the absence of an interbank market. If that is the case, you might think it would be easy to get the banks to put more of their deposits to work in the “real economy.” Couldn’t somebody (e.g. […]

Are Iraqi Banks Too Liquid?

By Mark DeWeaver. Fund managers visiting Iraq for the first time are often surprised by the large amounts of cash Iraqi banks typically hold. While the Central Bank of Iraq (CBI) requires lenders to hold 15% of their deposits in the form of vault cash and central bank reserves, most hold well over 50%. (See […]

Being Bullish on Iraqi Banking

With so much gloomy news around, it is good to find some analysis that shows the other side of the story: A report just issued by Sansar Capital suggests that shares in Iraq’s banking sector may be ripe for a re-rating. Key to the report’s findings is the argument that Iraq’s banks are exceptionally well […]

Major New Report on the Iraqi Banking Sector

Singapore-based Sansar Capital Management has issued a comprehensive new report on the Iraqi banking sector. The report finds that while the mix of an improving macro environment and security situation offer attractive investment ingredients, many challenges remain for those interested in participating through public markets. Nevertheless, Iraq remains one of the most under-banked countries in […]

Standard Chartered Expanding in Iraq

By John Lee. British bank Standard Chartered is to apply to Iraqi regulators for permission to open three business branches in Baghdad, Basra and Erbil. Chief executive of wholesale banking, Mike Rees (pictured), told The Telegraph: “Associated with the name British is trust … It is a very important brand which I think is underestimated. But […]

Questions About Practices of Private Iraqi Banks

By Omar al-Shaher, for Al-Monitor. Any opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News. Privately held Iraqi banks have almost entirely relinquished their traditional functions — such as giving out loans, lending credit and issuing letters of credit — due to default risks. Instead, they are […]

Private Bank SME Lending Tops $224m

More than $224 million has been injected into Iraq’s private sector economy in the form of Small & Medium Enterprise bank loans thanks to a cooperative effort between the USAID-Tijara Provincial Economic Growth Program and 12 private commercial banks. Of this amount, around $113 million presently is in circulation helping business owners expand their companies […]