Hutchison Ports and the Pritzker Family Business Interests (“PFBI”), advised by The Pritzker Organization, L.L.C. (“TPO”), announced today that the leading Hong Kong-based port operator has agreed to partner with NAWAH Port Management, L.L.C. (“NPM”) to manage existing and future operations at the historic Port of Basra in southern Iraq.

Hutchison Ports will assume oversight of day-to-day commercial and operational activities at NPM, operating under the name of Hutchison Ports Basra.

NPM is a containerized terminal operator at the Port of Basra located along the Shatt Al Arab waterway in Iraq.

The company services the shipping needs for a full spectrum of customers across Iraq – from large, multinational companies to local Iraqi merchants. NPM’s proximity to the city center and major oilfields, and its operations are viewed as key competitive advantages versus other ports in the region.

Andy Tsoi, Hutchison Ports’ Managing Director (Middle East and Africa), said:

We view NPM’s operations at the Port of Basra as an integral piece of our expanding Middle East strategy and are excited about the opportunities this partnership creates.

“We believe strongly in the growth story of Basra, Iraq, and the Middle East as a whole and are delighted to have the opportunity to participate in and support the growth of the business over the long term.

Eric Clark, CEO of NPM, said:

Hutchison Ports has an exceptional team and a proven track record of delivering value to its customers, employees and the regions in which it invests.

“We are delighted for the opportunity to partner with one of the leaders in the industry – a company which shares our vision of NPM as both a unique maritime asset in southern Iraq as well as strategic platform in the epicenter of one of the fastest growing regions in the world.

Eversheds LLP served as legal advisor to Hutchison Ports and Latham & Watkins LLP served as legal advisor to the PFBI during the deal process.

Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

(Source: Press Release)

By Wassim Bassem for Al Monitor. Any opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News. 

Models dressed in clothes reminiscent of Iraq’s multicultural past walked among the imposing statues at the Iraqi Museum in an impressive show in July that celebrated the liberation of Mosul, as the Iraqi House of Fashion bolstered its cultural presence and shrugged off the low profile it has held since 2003.

Founded in 1970 with the aim of conserving ancient Iraqi culture, the Iraqi House of Fashion started as a financially independent legal entity. However, the Iraqi House of Fashion Law was passed in 1985 with the help of the Iraqi Ministry of Culture and Media to help the fashion organization receive governmental support.

This support resulted in the building of a luxurious palace, considered to be one of the country’s most beautiful architectural monuments, on Palestine Street in eastern Baghdad.

But the good times for the fashion house came to an end in 2003 due to the US invasion of Iraq and the lack of security that swept through the country. The house was looted, its founder and manager had to retire and leave the country and the splendid palace was abandoned and slowly fell into ruin.

Although the Iraqi House of Fashion has made a comeback in the last few years, the present conservative environment makes it difficult for the organization to return to its days of glory.

In a country still suffering from war and terrorism, organizers of fashion shows remain fearful. For instance, Karar Nushy, a fashion designer whose work is well-known in the industry, was murdered July 4. The case remains unsolved.

“Organizers of such cultural events are still being threatened by those who consider it a Western tradition that could corrupt society,” Saif al-Obeidi, designer and technical manager for Iraqi House of Fashion, told Al-Monitor.

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By John Lee.

Iraq’s Petroleum Contracts & Licensing Directorate (PCLD) has announced that previously-qualified international oil companies (IOCs) which are not currently operating in Iraq, and which did not participate in earlier licensing rounds, will not be eligible to compete in the current licensing round.

In an announcement (copied below), the PCLD said such companies will have to resubmit all documents and pay a fee of $25,000 if they wish to participate:



By John Lee.

Chevron has become the latest member of the Iraq Britain Business Council (IBBC), joining 57 other world- and region-leading organisations that form IBBC’s membership.

The company operates and has an 80 percent interest in the Sarta production-sharing contract (PSC) and the Qara Dagh PSC (pictured). The two blocks cover a combined area of 279,000 net acres (1,129 sq km).

In early 2016, it completed a second exploration well in the Sarta Block, and more evaluation of the block is planned.

For the Qara Dagh PSC, the results from seismic acquisition and evaluation in 2015 improved understanding of the prospects, and it is evaluating the next steps.

(Sources: IBBC, Chevron)

By Lara Saeed, Managing Editor, Bite.Tech. Any opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

Over the course of the past year, the Iraqi startup ecosystem has been through tremendous development. Numerous startup events and boot camps have resulted in the early stages of an ecosystem. Baghdad, as the capital city with the largest market, has seen a strong number of stratups that are now beginning to take shape as businesses.

Unfortunately, it is not always that simple getting information from businesses in our culture but below are some of the hottest startups in Baghdad who are willing to share their stories.

  1. Miswag, founded by Ammar Ameen

Miswag was founded in the year 2013 and is one of the first startups in Baghdad. Miswag is an online store that adopted a model similar to Amazon. The startup provides a cross-platform site and mobile application as the main sales channels that allow Iraqi based customers to place their order directly. The startup also offers delivery services to its customers.

The startup is independently funded and has been generating income since the year 2015, it made over 1.1 billion Iraqi dinars in sales in the year 2016.

Miswag plans to invest further in their inventory as they plan to become the biggest e-commerce platform in Iraq in terms of user base.

The startup covers all over Iraq with two main operation centers, one in Baghdad and the other in the Kurdistan region.

The team currently consists of 11 employees and are aiming at a 50% staff increase within the next 12 months as they plan to establish another operation center in Basra.

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The TBI launches its strategy for the years 2017-2019


Baghdad / Farah Al-Khafaf
The Iraqi Bank of Commerce ( CBK) launched a strategy for the years 2017-2019 to expand the bank’s operations locally and internationally and to maximize its profits by developing the bank’s young cadres.

Director General of the Iraqi Trade Bank, Faisal Al-Hims, said: "The Bank intends to expand the Bank’s business in addition to four new branches, providing 350 new jobs, preparing and launching structured policies and procedures for the various departments in the Bank’s general administration.

Of these sections, as well as the signing of a memorandum of understanding with Ahli United Bank (AUB) to develop and strengthen technical and strategic cooperation with the bank’s correspondent banking partners. "

The new strategy will be based on a cross-objective management system to assess job performance and reward outstanding employees in their performance and to further train the Bank’s staff by investing in training them to perform their job duties in accordance with the best performance in advanced banks in the world. (139) training courses inside Iraq and (26) training courses outside, since the beginning of the current year 2017.

Bank also seeks to expand the management of expenses of operations by rationalizing spending, by saving 8.4 billion dinars annually, canceling the contract of the parent company The intention of private and secure the bank’s protection by the security forces as well as investment property and real estate bank instead of leased branches.

As for the achievements of the bank on the financial level, the achievement of the most important objectives in this regard, increase the capital of the bank from (1,750) trillion dinars to (2,750) trillion dinars, announced by Prime Minister Dr. Haider Abadi recently, in addition to conversion (50 percent) of net The bank’s annual profit for the year 2016 amounted to JD (268,283) billion to the Ministry of Finance last April.

The Bank of Iraq continues to collect its outstanding debts from the date of the current administration’s responsibility, which amounted to a total of $ 345,031 million and JD 57,263 billion, of which $ 166,095 million, And (36.446 billion dinars) for the period from 2 January 2017 to 30 June 2017.

The bank continues to collect commissions to the income account without actually being collected, reaching $ 18,650 million out of $ 24,750 million since the current management of the bank began its work in June 2016.

The Bank implemented the directives of the Prime Minister to support the private sector. He also deducted the bonds issued to the contractors by the Ministry of Finance and net profit for the current half of the year 2017 amounted to 169.943 billion dinars until 30-6-2017.

The Iraqi Trade Bank (BTI) has been involved in the international bond issuance of US $ 1 billion, along with the world’s largest banks (Citibank, JPMorgan and Deutsche Bank).

Faisal Al-Hymes, general manager of Faisal Al-Hims, said in a statement to Al-Sabah: "Government bonds have been included in the international market of Ireland, confirming that the subscription can not be increased to $ 1 billion.

The current bond issue is included in the supplementary budget for the current year 2017. So law by Parliament and ratified by the government. "

He also pointed out that the benefit of this low-cost financing will be directed to the reconstruction of liberated areas, calling at the same time the private banking sector to stimulate and diversify its business, in this area, similar to the Iraqi Bank for Trade (TBI).