By John Lee.

Ride-sharing services Uber, from the United States, and Careem of Dubai, have reached an agreement for Uber to acquire Careem for $3.1 billion, consisting of $1.7 billion in convertible notes and $1.4 billion in cash. The acquisition of Careem is subject to applicable regulatory approvals. The transaction is expected to close in Q1 2020.

Uber will acquire all of Careem’s mobility, delivery, and payments businesses across the greater Middle East region, ranging from Morocco to Pakistan, with major markets including Egypt, Jordan, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates.

Upon closing, Careem will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Uber, preserving its brand. Careem co-founder and CEO Mudassir Sheikha will lead the Careem business, which will report to its own board made up of three representatives from Uber and two representatives from Careem. Careem and Uber will operate their respective regional services and independent brands.

Established in July 2012, Careem operates in 120 cities across 15 countries and has created more than one million economic opportunities in the region.

Careem entered the Iraqi market in January 2018.

(Source: Uber)

By John Lee.

Iraq’s Ministry of Oil has announced final oil exports for February of 101,387,559 barrels, giving an average for the month of 3.621 million barrels per day (bpd), down from the 3.649 bpd exported in January.

These exports from the oilfields in central and southern Iraq amounted to 99,120,006 barrels, while exports from Kirkuk amounted to 1,753,373 barrels, and from Qayara 514,180 barrels.

Revenues for the month were $6.179 billion at an average price of $60.943 per barrel.

January export figures can be found here.

(Source: Ministry of Oil)

By John Lee.

UK-based recruiter Samuel Knight International has reportedly announced plans to open a new office in Baghdad.

According to Business Leader, the company focuses on the rail and energy sectors, and recently received investment from Gresham House Ventures.

In recent days, another British recruitment agency, SSK Recruitment, was reported to be looking to open an office in Erbil.

(Source: Business Leader)

By John Lee.

Iraq’s Communications and Media Commission (CMC) has reportedly ordered operators to block calls between their customers and Korek users in a dispute over number portability.

According to Rudaw, the regulator told mobile network providers that Erbil-based Korek had failed to meet its “contractual obligations” to allow customers to keep their phone number when they change service provider, while other providers such as Zain and Asiacell had complied with the regulations.

Korek has called the policy “unfair and unjust” both to customers and companies.

More here.

(Source: Rudaw)

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

US singles out ‘mafia’-like groups as key threat to Iraq’s future

The United States welcomes Iraq’s desire to be a “bridge” to its neighbors but will not accept “malign” Iranian influence that undermines Iraqi sovereignty, two top State Department officials told Al-Monitor.

In a joint interview Wednesday at the State Department, Assistant Secretary for Conflict and Stabilization Operations Denise Natali and Deputy Assistant for Iraq and Iran Andrew Peek emphasized the primacy of Iraqi sovereignty in US policy and a desire to work with Baghdad to address Iranian-backed militias that operate outside the control of Baghdad.

The pair encouraged “balanced” state-to-state relations between Iraq and all of its neighbors after returning from a delegation to Iraq earlier this month that was led by Natali and also attended by Peek.

Click here to read the full story.

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

As more factions within Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) are being designated as terrorists by the US administration on account of their close ties with the Iranian side, Tehran is moving toward pulling the Iraqi file from the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and leaving it with the Foreign Ministry, local reports say.

This reported shift in Iranian policy would seek to address a number of critical concerns — none more important, perhaps, than protecting the PMU, which is striving to repurpose itself as a fully-fledged security institution, especially after Washington explicitly told Iranian authorities that supporting militias in Iraq must come to end as part of 12 requirements outlined by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in November for the lifting of US sanctions.

Click here to read the full story.

GardaWorld, a global leader in comprehensive security and risk management, has made its weekly security report available to Iraq Business News readers.

Prepared by GardaWorld’s Risk Analysis Team in Iraq, this essential report includes short- and medium-term outlooks on the security situation, reports and commentary on recent significant events, and a detailed overview of developments across the country.

Please click here to download the latest report free of charge.

For more information on how GardaWorld’s services can support your business in Iraq, please contact Daniel Matthews, Senior Director Iraq, at daniel.matthews@garda.com

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Rabee Securities Iraq Stock Exchange (ISX) market report (week ending: 21st March 2019).

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

The RSISX index ended the week at IQD589 (-2.5%) / $634 (-2.6%) (weekly change) (-10.6% and -10.7% YTD change, respectively). The number of week traded shares was 4.1 bn and the weekly trading volume was IQD1.8 bn ($1.5 mn).

ISX Company Announcements

  • ISX will suspend trading of Iraq Noor Islamic Bank for Investment (BINI) starting Mar. 25, 2019 due to the AGM* that will be held on Mar. 28 to discuss and approve 2018 annual financial results.
  • Al-Mansour Bank (BMNS) resumed trading on Mar. 20, 2019 after discussing and approving 2018 annual financial results and deciding to distribute 7% cash dividend (IQD0.07 dividend per share, 9.7% dividend yield).
  • Middle East Producing & Marketing – Fish (AMEF) resumed trading on Mar. 20, 2019 after electing new board members.
  • According to ISC announcement published on Mar. 20, 2019, Al-Harir for Money Transfer (MTAH) has been delisted from the Iraq Stock Exchange.
  • ISX suspended trading of Trans Iraq Bank for Investment (BTRI) starting Mar. 17, 2019 due to the AGM* that will be held on Mar. 20, 2019 to discuss and approve 2017 annual financial results.
  • United Bank (BUND) resumed trading on Mar. 17, 2019 by the CBI decision to remove the custody from the bank due to completing the procedure of electing new board members.