The ISX top 20 companies by market cap have outperformed most OECD and GCC indices since 2008 and are expected to rally over the next decade. Some of its blue chips include North Bank, Credit Bank of Iraq, Mansour Bank, and hospitality group Mansour Hotel.
MerchantBridge's new fund is being launched at a time when the government of Iraq is pushing for a number of key sectors to be privatized. An improving regulatory environment and an increasingly positive outlook is attracting international and institutional investors. Liquidity will grow further as the exchange extends its trading hours beyond the current two hours per day.
With infrastructure projects worth more than $220bn announced and oil companies already investing in excess of $100bn, oil production capacity will increase five-fold in the coming years. As a result, economic activity in the country is set to expand significantly. Basedon IMF estimates, Iraq's GDP is expected to grow at a rate higher than its GCC neighbors and most emerging markets in the coming years.
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