Winston Churchill once likened observing Soviet politics to “watching two dogs fighting under a carpet.” All you can say for sure is that something’s going on.
The latest news on Warka Bank has exactly this 'subcarpet' quality. The ISC has ordered Warka’s brokerage subsidiary to stop its operations in the market effective July 26 following the seizure of the bank’s equity in this company by the Ministry of Trade. (See the pdf file at the bottom of this link for the Arabic version of the announcement.)
The Ministry is also seizing shares held by the bank in nine other companies. Appended to the ISC’s announcement is a letter from the Ministry’s Office of Companies Registration to the Diyala Public Company for Electrical Industries dated July 11. This provides the following list:
1.) Al-Asyl for Horse Breeding and Marketing LLC / number of shares (1,020,000).
2.) Al-Iraqiyah for Bank Guarantees LLC / number of shares (400,000,000).
3.) Afaq al-Ghad for Trading Agencies and General Trade LLC / number of shares (200,000).
4.) Al-Mas for Security and General Protective Services LLC / number of shares (200,000).
5.) Al-Mas for Real Estate Investments LLC / number of shares (135,000,000).
6.) Warka Company for Mediation in Trading Securities LLC / number of shares (980,000,000).
7.) Dallat al-Jazeerah for General Transportation LLC / number of shares (680,000).
8.) Al-Ufuq al-'Alamiyah for General Trading LLC / number of shares (1,340,000).
9.) Al-Mass for Recording of the Holy Book Verses LLC / number of shares (60,000,000).
10.) Al-Mas for Real Estate Investments LLC / number of shares (135,000,000)
Note that none of these are ISX listed companies. (6) is the brokerage.
Apparently, there must be a dispute between the bank and the Company for Electrical Industries to whom the Ministry’s letter is addressed. But there’s no way to tell what this dispute might be, why these ten names were selected, how they will be disposed of, or when the brokerage will be allowed to resume its operations.
It would be nice if someone could pull back the carpet and let us see what this fight is about.