Monitor the movements of "strange" within the "Central Bank" of Iraq!
1/20/2019

Witnesses, monitored strange movements, within the Central Bank of Iraq, for two consecutive days.

Witnesses said that the bank witnessed the entry of cars carrying, at night, without knowing the type of cargo being taken out of it, pointing out that the process lasted two consecutive days.

The Central Bank of Iraq, located in the capital Baghdad on Al-Rashid Street, was founded in 1947 and was formerly known as the Iraqi National Bank.
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Rabee Securities Iraq Stock Exchange (ISX) market report (week ending: 17th January 2019).

Please click here to download a table of listed companies and their associated ticker codes.

The RSISX index ended the week at IQD642 (-4.4%) / $691 (-4.4%) (weekly change) (-2.5% and -2.7% YTD change, respectively). The number of week traded shares was 28.1 bn and the weekly trading volume was IQD10.2 bn ($8.4 mn).

ISX Company Announcements

  • According to the ISX announcement, the opening price of the IQD5.0 mn class bonds (CB125) will be IQD5,322,192 on Sunday (Jan. 20, 2019). [Table: 2.3]
  • As part of the contribution to support the Iraqi economy, the Central Bank of Iraq (CBI) announced that through its IQD1.0 trln initiative given as a maximum amount for SME projects, it gave more than IQD33 bn during 2018. Since the start of the project in May 2015 until the end of 2018, IQD73 bn were given to projects, where the trade sector got 59%, services 25%, industrial 12% and agricultural sector 4%. The initiative includes 34 banks, 33 private banks and one state bank, while the loans for these projects ranged from IQD5 mn to IQD50 mn, it could reach IQD100 mn if it is approved by the Central Bank. (CBI)
  • Commercial Bank of Iraq (BCOI) resumed trading on Jan. 17, 2019 after discussing and approving 2017 annual financial results and deciding to distribute 3.5% cash dividend (7.3% dividend yield).
  • Ashur International Bank for Investment (BASH) resumed trading on Jan. 17, 2019 due to disclosing its 9M18 financials.
  • Bain Al-Nahrain Investment (VMES) resumed trading on Jan. 17, 2019 after discussing and approving 2017 annual financial results.
  • New shares of Al-Hamraa for Insurance (NHAM) from the capital increase from IQD5 bn to IQD7 bn through 40% bonus issue resumed trading on Jan. 16, 2019.
  • ISX requested Al Taif Islamic Bank to submit the required documents in order to start trading on the ISX as an Islamic bank.
  • Modern Animal & Agricultural Production (AMAP) was not suspended from trading on Jan. 14, 2019 because the company fulfilled ISX request to explain why the prices touched the higher limits on Jan. 8, Jan. 9, Jan. 10 and Jan. 13, 2019. The company disclosed that they started the legal procedures to own Soft Dairy Factory (Alban Al-Rfq) and the company also added that it started maintenance and adding new equipments in Halal Dairy Factory (Al-Halal) which will lead to increase production and quality of production.
  • Cross Transactions: 24.7 bn shares of Trust International Islamic Bank (BTRU) on Jan. 14, 2019, which represents 9.9% of BTRU capital.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif met a group of Iraqi tribal leaders from south of the country in the holy city of Karbala.

During the last leg of his meetings with Iraqi officials, elites and representatives of Iraqi society from various ethnicities and regions, Zarif sat for talks with the tribal leaders and clans’ representatives of southern Iraq in the consulate of the Islamic Republic of Iran in the holy city of Karbala.

During the cordial meeting on Wednesday, some of Iraqi tribal leaders and representatives expressed their views and ideas about the strong bonds between the two nations of Iran and Iraq, Foreign Ministry website reported.

For his part, Iran’s top diplomat referred to the close relations between the two nations over the past centuries and pointed out that nothing, even the imposed war by the former dictator of Iraq on Iran, could not separate the two nations.

“The love of the third Shiite Imam, Hussein ibn Ali (AS) has served as a bond connecting us together,” he said, adding that Arbaeen, the anniversary of 40th day after the martyrdom of Imam Hussein (AS) is a beautiful picture of companionship, self-sacrifice, hospitality and sympathy between the peoples of Iran and Iraq.

He also thanked Iraqi tribes for their warm hospitality to the Iranian pilgrims flocking to the holy cities of Najaf and Karbala each year to commemorate Arbaeen.

Zarif then underlined that Iran and Iraq are now involved in the construction process and added the two sides should put their focus on improving the living conditions of their people through overcoming the current obstacles and preparing the ground for further economic cooperation.

“Building on the two sides’ capacities, we can increase our annual trade volume by 20 billion dollars and if the ground is prepared, the Islamic Republic is ready to proudly share its achievements in energy, engineering, agriculture and trade areas with the Iraqis,” he concluded.

Iranian foreign minister arrived in Iraq on Sunday afternoon and held separate meetings with various Iraqis officials from the central government in Baghdad to Kurdistan semi-autonomous region.

(Source: Tasnim, under Creative Commons licence)

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, who is on an official visit to Iraq, highlighted the positive outcomes of the Iran-Iraq Joint Trade Conference in Baghdad and said the doubling of the bilateral trade “is on the horizon”.

“Today, I, accompanied by 6 Iraqi ministers, addressed hundreds of participants at the Iran-Iraq Joint Trade Conference; exploring paths to significantly expand bilateral trade and investment,” Zarif said on his twitter account early on Tuesday.

“With implementation of shared vision, doubling of annual trade volume is on the horizon,” he added in his tweet.

Heading a high-ranking Iranian delegation, Zarif arrived in Baghdad on Sunday for an official visit.

The visit comes against the backdrop of Iran’s efforts to boost its foreign trade in the US sanctions era.

Iraq’s foreign minister said recently that his country is “not obliged” to abide by sanctions imposed by the US against Iran and would be pursuing options to continue bilateral trade.

(Source: Tasnim, under Creative Commons licence)

MAN Energy Solutions has successfully commissioned six MAN 18V32/40 engines in a cement factory in Samawa, Iraq, and delivered five more engines of the same type to a freshwater-treatment plant in Basra.

“The country’s infrastructure has suffered greatly from armed conflict in the past and the re-electrification of Iraq is pivotal for further growth and new prosperity. We are very happy that our engines will bring such tangible, positive benefits to the Iraqi people,” said Waldemar Wiesner, Head of Region MEA (Middle-East Africa), Power Plant Sales, MAN Energy Solutions.

Defying the desert

The six engines in Samawa form the backbone of a power plant that will generate around 54 MW of electrical energy for a new cement plant owned by Iraqi producer, Kairat Al Abar Iraqi Co. (KAAI).

Samawa has a population of around 150,000 and is located on the River Euphrates, half way between Baghdad and the Persian Gulf. Conditions locally are testing with a rainfall of just 100 mm over the course of a year, while temperatures peak at over 40°C from June to September. “The heat and dry desert climate create demanding conditions for industrial processes,” said Wiesner. “However, our MAN 32/40 engines are particularly robust and well capale of delivering a reliable power supply under such extreme climatic conditions.”

Fresh water in Basra

Five MAN 18V32/40 engines with a total capacity of 45 MW will guarantee the energy supply of a freshwater-treatment plant in Basra, a city with 2.5 million people located on the Persian Gulf. Normally, the plant operates with electricity from the public grid. However, since Iraq’s energy supply still fluctuates strongly, the MAN engines will serve as an important backup to ensure the reliable operation of the plant.

“In Iraq, more than five million people have only limited access to drinking water or sanitary facilities. With this new freshwater plant, the quality of life for the people of Basra will increase significantly,” said Wiesner. “In the event of power failures, which unfortunately still occur frequently, our engines will ensure a stable energy supply so that Basra’s population has access to fresh water at all times.”

(Source: MAN Energy Solutions)

Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said the fact that each year, 7 million Iraqis and Iranians visit each other’s country is a sign of the two neighboring countries’ close ties.

Speaking at a meeting with Iraqi Parliament Speaker Mohammed Al-Halbousi in Baghdad on Monday, attended by the chairmen of the Iraqi parliamentary factions, Zarif hailed the relations between the two countries, the parliamentary ties in particular.

The fact that seven million Iranians and Iraqis visit each other’s country each year is an outstanding sign of “the proximity of the two great nations,” Zarif said.

Every year, a large number of Iranians visit Iraq for pilgrimage. Iranian pilgrims travel to Karbala, Najaf and Baghdad to pay homage to Shia Imams buried in Iraq.

Iraqis visit the Iranian cities of Mashhad and Qom for pilgrimage.

The Iraqi parliament speaker, for his part, referred to the two countries’ common interests and praised Iran’s role in helping the Iraqi people defeat the Daesh (ISIS or ISIL) terror group.

Daesh militants made swift advances in much of northern and western Iraq over the summer of 2014, after capturing large swaths of northern Syria.

However, a combination of concentrated attacks by the Iraqi military and the volunteer forces, who rushed to take arms after top Iraqi cleric Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani issued a fatwa calling for fight against the militants, blunted the edge of Daesh offensive.

In November 2017, the self-proclaimed caliphate of Daesh collapsed after Syrian and Iraqi armed forces and their allies managed to recapture the terror group’s last strongholds in the two Arab countries.

(Source: Tasnim, under Creative Commons licence)

By John Lee.

Business leaders in Jordan have reportedly welcomed increased access to Iraq’s $88.2-billion reconstruction efforts.

According to a report from Jordan Tmes, a recent agreement to grant Jordanian construction contractors equal status to their Iraqi peers was described as “a God-sent miracle” by engineer and board member of the Jordan Construction Contractors Association (JCCA) Abdel Haleem Bustanji.

It has only been two days since we signed the agreement, but I already received calls about the necessary papers. Contractors are thrilled to be working again,” he added.

Prime Minister Adil Abd Al-Mahdi received King Abdullah II of Jordan in Baghdad on Monday, to discuss improving relations between the two countries.

More here.

(Sources: Jordan Tmes, Media office of the Prime Minister)

By John Lee.

France has reportedly agreed to lend Iraq 1 billion euros to help in the reconstruction efforts.

According to Reuters, Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian announced the agreement to reporters following a meeting on Monday with his Iraqi counterpart Mohammed al-Hakim in Baghdad.

The cost of reconstruction in Iraq is estimated at $88 billion, of which around $30 billion was pledged at a donor conference early last year.

(Sources: Reuters, AP)

By John Lee.

King Abdullah II of Jordan arrives in Baghdad today on an official visit to Iraq for talks with President Barham Salih, and Prime Minister Adil Abd Al Mahdi and senior officials, with a view to strengthening bilateral relations and regional development.

According to a report from The Arab Weekly, the two countries are planning a border industrial zone with a possible 50,000 jobs. It would also facilitate exports of tax-exempted Jordanian goods to the Iraqi market.

In recent weeks, the two countries have agreed a series of measures to increase cooperation between the two countries, including a plan to finalize the framework agreement for the Iraqi-Jordanian pipeline which will run from Basra through Haditha to Aqaba in the first quarter of 2019.

They have also agreed to upgrade the al-Karamah – Terbil Border Crossing.

(Sources: Govt of Iraq, The Arab Weekly)

WFP supports Iraq in modernising its Public Distribution System

The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) and the Government of Iraq have launched an initiative to digitise the national public distribution system (PDS).

The first phase of digitisation will reach nearly 1.3 million people in and around Baghdad and Dohuk.

The PDS is Iraq’s biggest social safety net, providing food entitlements to almost the entire population in Iraq of 39 million people.

WFP is providing technical support to the government as it starts using identification technology and a citizen database to reduce processing time, improve service and maximise resources.

“The initiative guarantees the most efficient use of government resources and ensures that the intended citizens receive their food entitlement,” said WFP Country Director and Representative in Iraq Sally Haydock at the launch in Baghdad. “We’re using digitisation to better serve Iraqi citizens through this key social safety net.”

With WFP’s support, the government will move to a digitised system where citizens’ data is safely encrypted and stored, and where security is enhanced using fingerprints or iris scans. This will allow the government to identify and remove duplicate records as well as conduct biometric verification at the time of food collection. The new system replaces the current paper-based system.

WFP is also designing a mobile application, myPDS, that people can use to collect their entitlements as well as to update their family information about births, deaths and marriages – at their convenience, using personal smartphones.

“The ministry is working on updating data as we put in place technology-based solutions that address people’s needs,” said the Iraqi Minister of Trade Mohammed Hashem Al-Ani.

WFP is partnering on the initiative with the Iraqi Ministry of Trade. Modernising the PDS is one of the priorities of Iraq’s National Poverty Reduction Strategy (2018 – 2022). WFP’s partnership with the ministry dates to the early 1990s when WFP established a database for the PDS.

(Source: WFP)