The Warka Bank shareholders meeting originally scheduled for October 6 was held last Wednesday (Oct 12). From what I have heard from various sources, there was some good news and some bad news.
The good news is that the bank will be getting an IQD 100 bn loan from the Central Bank of Iraq (CBI). This will make it possible for the Registrar and the Securities Commission to allow BWAI to resume trading.
The Registrar’s approval is necessary because it has a lien on the shares. As long as this is in place, transfer of ownership is blocked. The existence of this lien was made public in a recent communication from the CBI posted on the Iraq Stock Exchange (ISX) website. The central bank, in response to a question from the ISX regarding Warka’s status, stated that the Registrar had blocked trading in the shares but did not say why.
Normally a lien might be put on someone’s property if title was in question or if the property had been posted as collateral. It’s hard to see what the rationale could be in this case. Why freeze the assets of all the minority shareholders?
The bad news is the same as the good news: Warka will be getting IQD 100 bn from the CBI. Evidently the potential deal with Standard Chartered, which would presumably have seen the British bank taking up almost IQD 150 bn in rights issue shares, is not going to be finalized in the near future. (There’s more on the Standard Chartered story here.)
My earlier expectation of a big jump in BWAI’s share price on the resumption of trading now seems likely to be disappointed.