The Central Bank of Iraq has instructed private banks to raise at least $7 billion in fresh capital over the next three years to be able to handle an expected oil-fueled construction boom, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Ahmed Ibraihi, Vice Governor of the Central Bank of Iraq, told the newspaper on Wednesday that these banks, numbering 32, now have a minimum capital requirement of 50 billion dinars each.
"We are taking these measures in order that companies which are implementing big projects in Iraq, including oil contracts, would start to deal with our banks," Mr. Ibraihi said.
Iraq has clinched some 11 multi-billion dollar deals over the last 11 months with international oil companies to raise its crude-oil production capacity to 12 million barrels a day from the current 2.4 million barrels a day.
Mr. Ibraihi was in Istanbul to reassure the more than 20 international oil and gas companies who won these mega projects that they can deal with local banks to help them implement their projects in Iraq.