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

Can Iraq get its water wheels on UNESCO World Heritage List?

Iraq has been working for the last three months to rehabilitate its historical norias in Hit, a city located in western Iraq on the banks of the upper Euphrates River.

The Iraqi government aims to inscribe these water wheels, which played an important role in the irrigation of the land for centuries, on UNESCO’s World Heritage List.

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Rabee Securities Iraq Stock Exchange (ISX) market report (week ending: 18th July 2019).

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

The RSISX index ended the week at IQD646 (-0.1%) / $695 (-0.1%) (weekly change) (-2.0% and -2.1% YTD change, respectively). The number of week traded shares was 2.2 bn and the weekly trading volume was IQD1.3 bn ($1.1 mn).

ISX Company Announcements

  • ISX will suspend trading of AL-Nukhba for General Construction (SNUC) starting Jul. 30, 2019 due to the AGM that will be held on Aug. 4, 2019 to discuss and approve 2018 annual financial results.
  • Original shares of Iraqi for Seed Production (AISP) resumed trading on Jul. 18, 2019 after discussing and approving 2018 annual financial results, increasing the capital from IQD10.50 bn to IQD13.65 bn through 30% bonus issue and deciding to distribute 20% cash dividend (IQD0.20 dividend per share, 3.1% dividend yield).
  • Mamoura Real-estate Investment (SMRI) resumed trading on Jul. 18, 2019 after discussing and approving 2018 annual financial results and deciding to distribute 5% cash dividend (IQD0.05 dividend per share, 2.8% dividend yield).
  • International Development Bank for Investment (BIDB) resumed trading on Jul. 18, 2019 after discussing and approving 2018 annual financial results.
  • Original shares of Al-Ameen Insurance (NAME) resumed trading on Jul. 16, 2019 after discussing and approving 2018 annual financial results and increasing the capital from IQD3.8 bn to IQD5.0 bn through 30.9% rights issue. The company closed the day at IQD0.37 per share, down by 27.5%.
  • Palestine Hotel (HPAL) resumed trading on Jul. 17, 2019 after discussing and approving 2017 annual financial results.
  • ISX suspended trading Bank of Baghdad (BBOB) starting on Jul. 16, 2019 due to the AGM that will be held on Jul. 20, 2019 to discuss and approve 2018 annual financial results.
  • Gulf Insurance and Reinsurance (NGIR) resumed trading on Jul. 15, 2019 due to fulfilling ISC’s request to provide 3M19 financial results.
  • ISX suspended trading of Al-Mosul for Funfairs (SMOF) starting Jul. 15, 2019 due to the AGM that would be held on Jul. 18, 2019 to discuss and approve 2018 annual financial results.
  • Credit Bank of Iraq (BROI) decided to distribute 2% cash dividend (IQD0.02 cash dividend per share, 5.1% dividend yield) in its AGM that was held on Jul. 13, 2019.

By John Lee.

Iran’s gas and electricity exports to Iraq are reportedy expected to reach $5 billion by the end of the current Iranian calendar year, which ends on March 21, 2020.

Mehr news agency quotes the Secretary General of Iran-Iraq Joint Chamber, Seyed Hamid Hosseini, as saying that if Iraq agrees it is possible for Iran to barter the necessary goods in return for the gas and electricity, the Central Bank of Iraq (CBI) “should cooperate in this regard“.

(Source: Tehran Times)

By John Lee.

On Wednesday, the Lebanese President, General Michel Aoun, welcomed the Vice President of Iraq, former Iraqi Prime Minister, Dr. Iyad Allawi, with whom he discussed the bolstering of Lebanese-Iraqi relations in all areas, especially on economic matters.

Following his meeting with President Aoun, Xinhua quotes Vice President Allawi as saying:

“We have discussed with Lebanese President Michel Aoun the possibility of creating partnership between Lebanese and Iraqi businessmen and we will be following up on our agreements to make sure they are put in action very soon.”

He reportedly added that Iraq is keen to benefit from the Lebanese expertise in the banking sector.

(Source: Govt of Lebanon, Xinhua)

By John Lee.

The Jordanian-Iraqi Forum on digital transformation in the financial sector was held on Wednesday in Baghdad.

It was organized as part of the partnership between Jordan’s Information and Communications Technology Association (int@j), the Jordanian-Iraqi Economic Association, the Iraq Private Banks League, and the International Finance Corporation, and saw the participation of 30 Jordanian IT companies.

Through the forum, int@j aims to assist Jordanian IT companies enter the Iraqi market.

The Chairman of the Board of Directors at int@j, Dr. Bashar Hawamdeh, said that the company’s role in organizing the forum is part of their efforts to bolster networking among Jordanian companies and Iraqi banks and others operating in the financial sector. int@j’s role in organizing the forum comes as well amidst efforts to enable Jordanian companies to offer their expertise in digital transformation and technology to Iraqi sectors more broadly, particularly considering there exists an urgent need on the Iraqi side to implement digital transformation projects.

Dr. Hawamdeh noted that the Iraqi market is an important market to Jordanian companies, as those companies possess significant expertise in systems building and management. He added that Jordanian companies have been instrumental in developing e-governance for states in the region and have assisted in building systems that serve digital transformation.

He added that the forum is an opportune time for Jordanian companies to explore opportunities related to cooperation and sharing of expertise, especially considering the faith the Iraqi market has in Jordanian expertise in all areas.

The following Jordanian companies are taking part in the forum: Access 2 Arabia, Bridges PR and Events, Globitel, Green Circle Co., Hayyan Horizons, MenalTech, HyperPay, MadfooatCom, Jordan Payments and Clearing Company (JoPACC), Middle East Payment Services (MEPS), and Quality Business Solutions.

Also participating in the conference are: Real Soft Advanced Applications, Sidra Electronic Payment Software, Synaptic Technologies, Trismart, VTEL Holdings, dot.Jo, Jordan Data Systems, Takamol, ProgressSoft, Al Bayanat Al-Raqamiah for Information Technology, Image Technologies (ITECJ), OPTIMIZA, Oracle, Jordan Systems Consulting Co, OFFTEC, Dell, KPMG Jordan, Virtual/Al-Nayi for Informational and Communications Consulting, and Mawdoo3.com.

(Source: int@j)

By John Lee.

The state-owned Trade Bank of Iraq (TBI) is reported to be planning to expand its operations in China and the Gulf.

Chairman Faisal al-Haimus [al-Haimus] told Reuters that the bank want to increase revenues from retail banking and international operations from 25 percent to 30 percent by 2022.

He added that it plans to open a representative office in China in 2020, and will upgrade its license in Abu Dhabi from a “representative office” to “asset management company“.

More here.

(Source: Reuters)