The freezing of the money of a money exchange company in Erbil and two persons on charges of financing terrorism
2/13/2019

The Committee on the freezing of terrorist funds on Wednesday issued a decision to freeze the money of a money exchange company in Erbil and two persons on charges of financing terrorism.

According to the decision, "based on the book of the Office of Anti-Money Laundering and Terrorism … the Committee on the freezing of terrorist funds at its first regular session, the freezing of movable and immovable funds and persons listed by Dubai Horizons to mediate the sale and purchase of foreign currency in the province of Erbil, Omar Abd Al Halim Muttani, the Company’s Managing Director, with a 49% contribution, and Nakar Akram Osman, Deputy Managing Director of the Company with 51% contribution.

The Committee noted that the decision "shall be implemented as of the date of its issuance".It referred to the "generalization of this decision on the ministries and entities not associated with the Ministry and the provinces and all provincial councils and financial and non-financial institutions and the relevant departments for the purpose of taking appropriate actions on the entity and persons referred to above."

"This decision will be published immediately in the Official Gazette and the AML / CFT website," she said.Earlier in the day, the US Treasury Department imposed sanctions on an Iraqi-based financial firm involved in supporting the terrorist organization The ministry said in a statement that the Office of Foreign Assets Control imposed sanctions on the company "Horizons Dubai" exchange because it was diverting funds to favor in Syria and Iraq and provide him with financial or technological support or other services.

"Dubai Horizons" is part of the financial network linked to Dahesh’s support and includes companies providing financial services, remittances, and facilitators of financial transactions in the Middle East.

http://burathanews.com/arabic/economic/345354

DNO ASA, the Norwegian oil and gas operator, today announced 2018 net profit of USD 354 million on revenues of USD 829 million, the highest annual revenues in the Company’s 47-year history. Cash flow from operations increased 40 percent to USD 472 million in 2018, of which USD 334 million represented free cash flow.

Operated production averaged 117,600 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boepd) including 81,700 boepd on a Company Working Interest (CWI) basis, up from 113,500 boepd and 73,700 boepd, respectively, during 2017. January 2019 operated production averaged 128,000 barrels of oil per day (bopd) or 90,000 bopd on a CWI basis.

The Company stepped up its operational spend in 2018 to nearly USD 300 million to support the fast-track development of the Peshkabir field in the Kurdistan region of Iraq and the ongoing drilling program at the Tawke field within the same license.

Spending levels in 2019 are projected to rise more than 40 percent from 2018 levels to an estimated USD 420 million. DNO’s 2019 drilling program includes up to 20 exploration and production wells in Kurdistan, including up to 14 wells at the Tawke field, four at Peshkabir and two at the Baeshiqa license. Another five wells are planned in Norway on DNO’s licenses.

In Kurdistan, two recently completed wells, Peshkabir-9 and Tawke-52, will be placed on production in February. Testing of the first Baeshiqa exploration well targeting the Cretaceous reservoir has been delayed by extensive rainfall but is also expected to commence this month.

Already the leading international oil company in Kurdistan, with a 75 percent operating interest in fields contributing a third of the region’s total exports, the Company is now firmly establishing itself in Norway as it completes the takeover of Faroe Petroleum plc. With 90 licenses, of which 22 are operated, DNO will leapfrog to the ranks of the top five companies in total licenses held in Norway.

“The Faroe transaction transforms DNO into a more diversified company with a strong, second leg,” said DNO’s Executive Chairman Bijan Mossavar-Rahmani. “This represents not a pivot away from Kurdistan but a pivot to Norway,” he added. “We are now well positioned in two areas in which we have a comparative, even competitive, advantage.”

The combination places DNO among the top three European-listed independent oil and gas companies in production and reserves.

DNO has acquired more than 96 percent of Faroe shares and initiated the compulsory acquisition of the remaining shares. The integration of the Faroe and DNO organizations is well underway; the new combined entity has over 1,100 employees and offices in Oslo, Stavanger, Erbil, Dubai, London, Aberdeen and Great Yarmouth.

The Company will release pro-forma financials and 2019 investment programs and budgets for the combined entity in February and March.

Separately, DNO’s Board of Directors have approved a dividend payment of NOK 0.20 per share to be made on or about 27 March 2019 to all shareholders of record as of 18 March 2019. DNO shares will be traded ex-dividend as of 15 March 2019.

(Source: DNO)

By John Lee.

Dubai-based MBC Group is reportedly about to start a new family-oriented entertainment channel for Iraqi viewers.

According to BroadcastPro Middle East, MBC Iraq is scheduled to be launched on the evening of Sunday, 17th February.

CEO Sam Barnett is quoted as saying:

“MBC Iraq is a premium television network that caters to the needs of a sophisticated Iraqi audience, offering exclusive and premium content suitable for all members of the family and all age groups. Our aim is to offer increased localised productions, offering opportunities to Iraqi talent and prospects in media to its youth.”

(Source: BroadcastPro Middle East)

The state-owned Trade Bank of Iraq (TBI) has been recognised for its outstanding performance and service, taking home two awards at the International Finance Awards 2018.

London based ‘International Finance’ magazine rewarded TBI’s continued commitment towards providing modern banking services in Iraq, presenting the ‘Best Retail Bank’ and ‘Best Priority Bank’ awards during a special ceremony held at the Jumeirah Emirates Towers in Dubai.

Faisal Al Haimus, Chairman & President of Trade Bank of Iraq, who received the awards at the ceremony said:

We are pleased to receive this esteemed award, which recognises our strong and personalised customer service along with our portfolio of retail products and priority services.

“These awards are not only an acknowledgement of TBI’s continuous efforts, but also a testimonial to the quality of the bank’s products and services, which have brought great satisfaction to customers.

“Setting new standards in the retail products and priority services through innovation and outstanding performance has always been one of the core strategic focus of our business and will continue to be the same for us going forward.”

TBI was established in July 2003 with the aim of helping in the reconstruction of Iraq by facilitating international trade and continues to be at the forefront of large-scale infrastructure developments across the country.

The institution’s financial network and expertise plays a significant role in sourcing and securing funding for projects. It established its first international office in the UAE in 2017 and has since signed several agreements with global banks and finance firms to help fund infrastructure projects inside Iraq.

Faisal Al Haimus added:

“This recognition is proof of the Bank’s constant ability to deliver a strong and solid performance. We will continue to innovate, improve and enhance our service quality to meet the growing demands, needs and expectations of our customers.”

International Finance Awards recognises industry talent, leadership skills, industry net worth and capability on an international platform. Winning banks were selected through a board of industry specialists drawn from international ratings agencies and some of the world’s leading financial centres after undergoing immense scrutiny based on growth, sustainability, their contribution to society and innovation.

(Source: TBI)

Iranian tendency to delete 4 zeros from the national currency
1/6/2019

head of the "Alolaiaan" in the Islamic Shura Council , Hamid Reza Haji Babaei, Sunday that announced the cancellation of four zeros from the national currency is included on the agenda.

Hamid Reza Haji Babaei in a press statement briefed on the participation of the Governor of the Central Bank of Iran Abdul Nasser Hamati today in a meeting of "the House of Representatives of States" in the Islamic Shura Council, noting that my interest was presented during this meeting a report on the performance of the Central Bank in different fields.


The Iranian parliamentarian said that "Hamati stressed during this meeting that the government of Lador has a high exchange rate of foreign currencies."


"The governor of the Central Bank of Iran believes that the main problem in the country is not in foreign currency but in riyal, and has been standing in front of checks that are sold and bought in Dubai," Haji Babaii said.


"The road is open to China and Korea and the road to establishing relations with India is being opened," he said. "There have also been good talks with Turkey."


"The liquidity of 1,700,000 billion has lost 30 percent of its power as a result of inflation. We intend to delete four zeros from the national currency, which should be done quickly," Hamati was quoted as saying.

https://www.almaalomah.com/2019/01/06/380098/

By Elena Kornienko.

Any opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

A few months ago I was approached by one of my LinkedIn connections, an expat based in Iraq, with an exciting training opportunity for one of the largest oil companies in the region.

Some messages back and forth to clarify details and I am asked to submit a proposal and training programs content. And at this point of time my inner voice of procurement professional with 17 years of buying goods and services for various companies started asking me questions:  “Why you have not received an official enquiry and all correspondence is LinkedIn based? “ – “Well, that’s how the modern world works these days! Social media became integral part of our lives”. My inner voice said: “Ok, fair enough. But why this person did not use corporate e-mail account?” – “Well, it is easier to keep correspondence on a subject in one place, and it will be easier to refer to all discussion details”.

And my inner voice was satisfied with that explanation too. But it kept asking me more questions: “If that is a formal inquiry for services, it have to come using company’s standard, and this company absolutely have templates and even automated procurement system…”, and the next question was “Submission of training materials to a client is always subject to signing “Non-disclosure agreement” where Intellectual Property Rights are clearly defined. So why it does not happen this time?”. And that was the time when I listened to my inner voice and started asking the same questions the potential counterpart. It did not take long to understand that it was a fraud inquiry with a purpose of stealing information which was covered by big and famous name…

It is not a secret that most of International Oil Companies, including the ones which operate in Iraq, have as a part of their contract template schedule “Code of Business Conduct and Ethics” and a failure to comply with all rules is considered as material breach of a contract which leads to further collection of damages or early termination. This contract schedule establishes company’s standards that include business practices and regulatory compliance that applies to all company’s employees.

These standards are expected to be followed by contractors as a part of commitment to execute contracts in trustful and faithful manner. For those of readers who did not come across with such contract articles, here just a few examples of what is typically covered: alcohol and drug policy, insider information trading, bribery, corruption, business records, confidential information, computer and system security, conflict of interest, gifts, engagement with media and information partners. This is typical content of “Code of Business Conduct and Ethics” which is adopted by most of the players in the Oil and Gas industry, however is it enough to make sure that all parties involved are acting in a good faith to all concerned?

The Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply (CIPS) developed and implemented Corporate Code of Ethics with more focus for procurement professionals. It guides companies on ethical behavior in supply chain and promotes usage of procurement strategies to drive away unethical practices from the supply chain, assists to ensure that procurement decision minimize any negative impact, helps to put ethical policies and procedures in place to ensure compliance and the most important – mandates the education and training of all staff involved in sourcing, contractor selection and management to professional standards.  Great initiative that helps not only companies, but procurement professionals to set and follow rules of ethical procurement. It promotes professional behavior of procurement personnel who have the biggest exposure in a company for potential fraud and corruption.

While some of the companies are more advanced in implementing and following ethics standards in procurement, for others it is a new unknown road. Iraq has its own challenges in procurement and we can all contribute the development of ethics in supply chain by letting our inner voice ask questions even in circumstances when we feel great excitement for fantastic business opportunity.

Elena Kornienko has more than 15 years of professional experience in contracts, procurement and tendering in various roles from demand-identification to contract close-out. She has worked on major international oil and gas projects, including the Sakhalin-1 and Sakhalin-2 fields in Russia, and Iraq’s West Qurna-2. Now based in Dubai, she provides consultancy services to the oil and gas industry. Elena is a fluent English and Russian speaker, and a graduate of the Moscow State University of Commerce, holding a degree in Economics. She also graduated with distinction from the School of Business Administration at Portland State University and holds a CIPS diploma.

(Picture: Ethics signpost, from 3D-creation/Shutterstock)

IBBC welcomed 260+ delegates to Dubai to discuss ‘Iraq – Reconstruction & Rebuilding, how to deliver Vision’ with expert Industry, Government and International Organisations on 25th November

Iraq Britain Business Council held its annual Autumn Conference in Dubai yesterday on the 25th November at the Address Dubai Marina in Dubai.

The event hosted many speakers from the major companies operating in Iraq including IOCs, Logistics, Finance and Legal and Infrastructure, as well as Government Officials from the UK, UAE, Iraq, The World Bank and IMF to discuss the key issues facing Iraq’s economy today. IBBC welcomed over 260 delegates at the event for its largest ever attendance.

Under the Chairmanship of Vikas Handa, IBBC Representative in the UAE, Baroness Nicholson of Winterbourne, President of IBBC and The Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy to Iraq opened the conference alongside H.E. Abdulla Ahmed Al Saleh, Undersecretary of the UAE Ministry of Economy for Foreign Trade & Industry Professor Sabah Mushatat, Prime Minister’s Advisor for Reconstruction and Investment. H.E. Bengan Rikani, Iraqi Minister for Housing, Reconstruction & Public Municipalities, Government of the Republic of Iraq. Michael Townshend, Regional President BP Middle East and Jon Wilks CMG, Her Majesty’s Ambassador to Iraq.

HE Abdulla Ahmed Al Saleh

IBBC was honoured to have HE Abdulla alSaleh give a keynote speech at the IBBC Conference in Dubai for the third year running, His Excellency reaffirmed the UAE’s commitment to building a diverse and prosperous Iraq as per the IBBC’s mission statement. Professor Mushatat delivered a message from the Prime Minister of Iraq H.E. Adil Abdul-Mahdi delivering the PMs support for the development of the Private Sector and Foreign Enterprise in Iraq and complimenting IBBC as a trusted partner to achieve these goals.

H.E. Bengan Rikani spoke of the challenges ahead to meet the population growth of Iraq, the continuing efforts to rebuild liberated areas and the infrastructure projects underway. Ambassador Jon Wilks highlighted the importance of Iraq to the British economy, where trade has increased by 10% in the last year alone and stressed the commitment of PM Theresa May, Liam Fox MP Secretary of State for International Trade and DFID to facilitating Trade between the UK & Iraq.

“Now is the time to look again at the Iraq Market”
Her Majesty’s Ambassador Jon Wilks CMG

Michael Townshend reminded the audience that there was more Oil available globally than humanity could consume and that the Rumaila’s oilfield operated by BP in Iraq was not only one of the largest but also one of the most economic fields in the globe, providing Iraq with the lion share of its incomes.

Michael Townshend, BP

This year’s Agenda focused on the key issues of how Iraq can rebuild its towns and cities and develop its economy and evolving Infrastructure and Utilities with an emphasis on expanding Oil & Gas production, improving the Regulatory Framework and Financial systems and exploring the role of Logistics in moving people and materials into and around the country.

Conference Sessions & Speakers:

Logistics – Imports/Exports, People & Goods

Beverley Simpson, Director – Iraq, Department of International Trade; Rolls-Royce; SKA International Group; Basrah Gateway Terminal; G4S

Regulatory & Financial Framework – Encouraging International Investment

Management Partners; Dr Sabah Mushatat, Investment & Reconstruction Advisor to the Prime Minister of Iraq; National Bank of Iraq; IMF; AFC Iraq Fund; Eversheds-Sutherland

Energy – Increasing Production

Shell; Chevron; GE

Infrastructure – Rebuilding & Utilities Supply

IFC; Wood; EAMES; Siemens; Prof. Frank Gunter, Lehigh University

Ms Duha Mohammed, Capital Bank of Iraq

The conference also featured the highly successful roundtable discussions, where delegates engaged in dynamic and concentrated debates on the country issues which matter most. Delegates also enjoyed a pre-conference reception on 24th November at the Address Dubai Marina, as well as many networking opportunities throughout the event.

IBBC would like to thank the efforts of its sponsors Rolls Royce, Serco, SKA International Group, Siemens, GE, Basra Gateway Terminal and Khudairi Group.

IBBC also held a Tech Forum on 25th November under the Chairmanship of IBBC Marketing Consultant Ashley Goodall. The forum ran in parallel to the conference at the same venue. Some of the most important innovators of Tech in Iraq spoke on Fintech, the Consumer Economy, E-Government and the Start-Up Economy. Speakers included representatives from EY Iraq, Avaya, Citi Bank, Restrata Group, Microsoft, Khudairi Group, VentureSouq, Careem and the International Development Bank.

IBBC is particularly grateful to Ms Suha Mohammed, DG for payments at the Iraqi Central Bank, and to Mr Hiwa Afandi, DG of the Information Technology Department of the Kurdistan Regional Government for participating in this event.

Tech companies are already disrupting the heavily state dominated Iraqi economy and are the bearers of hope for tangible change in a country that has an extremely young and tech savvy population and has an urgent need to create hundred of thousands new jobs every year.

For any enquires please email london@webuildiraq.org

(Source: IBBC)

in.reuters.com

Rouhani sees Iran, Iraq expanding trade despite US sanctions

Reuters Editorial
4-5 minutes


DUBAI (Reuters) – Iran and Iraq could raise their annual bilateral trade to $20 billion from the current $12 billion, President Hassan Rouhani said on Saturday, despite concerns over the impact of renewed U.S. sanctions.

Iraq’s President Barham Salih is welcomed by Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani during his visit in Tehran, Iran, November 17, 2018. Official President website/Handout via REUTERS

Rouhani’s remarks, after a meeting with visiting Iraqi President Barham Salih, came two weeks after the United States restored sanctions targeting Iran’s oil industry as well as its banking and transportation sectors.

“… through bilateral efforts, we can raise this figure (for bilateral trade) to $20 billion in the near future,” Rouhani said in comments broadcast live on state television.

“We held talks on trade in electricity, gas, petroleum products and activities … in the field of oil exploration and extraction,” Rouhani said.

Baghdad is seeking U.S. approval to allow it to import Iranian gas for its power stations. Iraqi officials say they need more time to find an alternative source than a 45-day waiver granted to it by the United States.

“It will be important to create free trade zones at our shared border and to connect the two countries’ railways,” Salih said.

“We will not forget your support for the Iraqi people in the fight against (Iraqi dictator) Saddam (Hussein). Neither do we forget Iran’s stand in the recent fight against terrorism,” added Salih, an Iraqi Kurd.
“UNITY”

Salih later met Iranian supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei who called for maintaining unity among ethnic and religious groups in Iraq and resisting foreign interference.

“The only way to counter plots (by Iraq’s enemies) is by strengthening the unity of all Iraqi groups, including Kurds, Arabs, Shi’ite and Sunnis,” Ayatollah Khamenei said, according to his website.

“Some governments in the region and outside of it hold a deep grudge against Islam … and Iraq, and interfere in Iraq’s internal affairs and they must be strongly resisted,” he said.

Iran accuses the United States and its regional rival Saudi Arabia of exploiting divisions among Shi’ite and Sunni Muslims. Washington and Riyadh denounce Iran as fuelling conflicts in countries including Lebanon, Syria and Yemen.

“We seek to boost cooperation (with Iran) at all levels … in order to serve the interests of both countries,” the website quoted Salih as saying.

Iran wields wide influence in Iraq, its smaller neighbour, where its Revolutionary Guards played a key role in training and arming the mainly Shi’ite militias that helped defeat Islamic State.

Iraq imports a wide range of goods from Iran, including food, agricultural products, home appliances, air conditioners and car parts. Iranian goods imports to Iraq were worth about $6 billion in the year ending March 2018, or about 15 percent of Iraq’s total imports for 2017.

Iraqi officials told Reuters last week that Iraq had agreed to sell foodstuffs in return for Iranian gas and energy supplies. Iranian trade officials denied that any food-for-gas scheme could be set up as Iran was a net exporter of food to Iraq.

“We have exported more than $6 billion to Iraq in the past seven months and we could import goods for that amount but not food items,” Yahya Al-e Eshaq, head of the Iran-Iraq chamber of commerce, was quoted as saying by the ILNA news agency.

A spokesman for an association of Iranian gas and petrochemicals exporters said Iraq wanted to pay for the gas imports in its dinar currency, the semi-official ISNA news agency reported.
Reporting by Dubai newsroom; Editing by Gareth Jones and Robin Pomeroy


https://in.reuters.com/article/iran-…-idINKCN1NM09A