Basrah Museum Opens New Sumer, Assyria And Babylonia Galleries

The official opening of three new galleries in the Basrah Museum on March 19th marks the completion of a project to refurbish all major exhibition space at the complex.

It is a further important milestone in the creation of a major hub for the protection and celebration of the rich cultural heritage of Southern Iraq.

The Sumer, Assyrian and Babylon Galleries will be opened by the end of March and will showcase objects tracing the history of Iraq from c. 3000 BCE to 550 BCE, including statues, cylinder seals, tablets, jewellery, statues, glassware and pottery from many eras from the Iraq Museum in Baghdad and from the Basrah Museum’s original collection. This is the first time that the majority of the exhibits have been on public display in Basrah.

The project to open the new galleries is led by the Director of Antiquities and Heritage of Basrah Qahtan Al Abeed and supported by UK-based charity Friends of Basrah Museum. It includes training and development programmes in labelling, visitor services and museum techniques for staff and volunteers, as well as the creation of an education room for school parties and other young visitors.

The opening will be a tribute to the efforts, dedication and scholarship of leading archaeologist and FOBM Trustee, Lamia Al Gailani Werr who died unexpectedly in Jordan in January this year. Lamia was an unstinting supporter of the Basrah Museum and shared her experience and wisdom generously with cultural heritage specialists in Basrah and Baghdad as the project evolved.

This latest phase of the project was financed by the Cultural Protection Fund, managed by the British Council. It follows the opening of the Museum’s first gallery in 2016. The Basrah Gallery is devoted to the cultural heritage of the city and its environs. It was funded principally by a major grant from UK oil and gas company BP.

A grant extension funding the final phase of the project has been awarded by the Cultural Protection Fund and will focus on the opening of a museum library at the complex for students and academics and members of the public. This phase is expected to be completed by the end of the year.

(Source: Friends of Basrah Museum)

By John Lee.

Baghdad has again been ranked as the city with the world’s worst quality of living, according to the Mercer 2019 Quality of Living Survey.

Just ahead of it in the table of 231 cities are Bangui in the Central African Republic and Sana’a in Yemen.

Vienna again retains the top spot; Zurich and Vancouver follow in second and third places, respectively.

Mercer evaluates local living conditions according to 39 different factors.

More information here.

(Source: Mercer)

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Iran’s Minister of Industry, Mine and Trade Reza Rahmani said Tehran and Baghdad have agreed to reach the target of raising the value of annual trade exchange to $20 billion within the next two years.

Speaking at a TV program on Wednesday, Rahmani stressed the need to exploit the potential of Iran and Iraq for industrial and trade cooperation.

He added that the $20-billion annual trade target that the two neighbors have set is expected to be met in the not-so-distant future.

Rahmani, who was part of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s entourage during a landmark visit to Iraq earlier this week, said the two governments have agreed to get the most out of economic opportunities by 2021.

During the presidential visit to Iraq, the two countries’ official signed five deals to promote cooperation in various fields.

The documents entail cooperation between Iran and Iraq concerning the Basra-Shalamcheh railroad project, visa facilitation for investors, cooperation in the health sector, and agreements between the Ministry of Industry, Mines and Trade of Iran and Ministry of Trade of Iraq, and another one in the field of oil between the petroleum ministries of the two countries.

In February, governors of the central banks of Iran and Iraq signed an agreement to develop a payment mechanism aimed at facilitating banking ties between the two neighboring countries.

A few days ago, secretary of Iran-Iraq Chamber of Commerce said the obstacles to banking interaction between the two neighbors have been settled and the bilateral trade exchange is fairly normal.

He said a large number of technical and engineering projects worth 7 to 8 billion dollars which Iranian private sector companies were carrying out in Iraq have remained unfinished since the rise of the Daesh (ISIL) terrorist group in 2014.

(Source: Tasnim, under Creative Commons licence)

Iran’s Minister of Industry, Mine and Trade Reza Rahmani said Tehran and Baghdad have agreed to reach the target of raising the value of annual trade exchange to $20 billion within the next two years.

Speaking at a TV program on Wednesday, Rahmani stressed the need to exploit the potential of Iran and Iraq for industrial and trade cooperation.

He added that the $20-billion annual trade target that the two neighbors have set is expected to be met in the not-so-distant future.

Rahmani, who was part of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s entourage during a landmark visit to Iraq earlier this week, said the two governments have agreed to get the most out of economic opportunities by 2021.

During the presidential visit to Iraq, the two countries’ official signed five deals to promote cooperation in various fields.

The documents entail cooperation between Iran and Iraq concerning the Basra-Shalamcheh railroad project, visa facilitation for investors, cooperation in the health sector, and agreements between the Ministry of Industry, Mines and Trade of Iran and Ministry of Trade of Iraq, and another one in the field of oil between the petroleum ministries of the two countries.

In February, governors of the central banks of Iran and Iraq signed an agreement to develop a payment mechanism aimed at facilitating banking ties between the two neighboring countries.

A few days ago, secretary of Iran-Iraq Chamber of Commerce said the obstacles to banking interaction between the two neighbors have been settled and the bilateral trade exchange is fairly normal.

He said a large number of technical and engineering projects worth 7 to 8 billion dollars which Iranian private sector companies were carrying out in Iraq have remained unfinished since the rise of the Daesh (ISIL) terrorist group in 2014.

(Source: Tasnim, under Creative Commons licence)

By John Lee.

AeroVironment Inc., of Simi Valley, California, has been awarded a $17,356,084 firm-fixed-price Foreign Military Sales (Iraq) contract for Puma AE II C-Code International Digital Data Link systems.

One bid was solicited with one bid received.

Work will be performed in Simi Valley, California, with an estimated completion date of Oct. 18, 2021.

(Source: US Dept of Defense)

By John Lee.

AeroVironment Inc., of Simi Valley, California, has been awarded a $17,356,084 firm-fixed-price Foreign Military Sales (Iraq) contract for Puma AE II C-Code International Digital Data Link systems.

One bid was solicited with one bid received.

Work will be performed in Simi Valley, California, with an estimated completion date of Oct. 18, 2021.

(Source: US Dept of Defense)

Advertising Feature

Rabee Securities Iraq Stock Exchange (ISX) market report (week ending: 14th March 2019).

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

The RSISX index ended the week at IQD604 (+1.6%) / $651 (+1.6%) (weekly change) (-8.4% YTD change). The number of weekly traded shares was 27.5 bn and the weekly trading volume was IQD10.8 bn ($9.0 mn).

ISX Company Announcements

  • According to the ISX announcement, the opening price of the IQD5.0 mn class bonds (CB125) will be IQD5,383,562 on Sunday (Mar. 17, 2019). [Table: 2.3]
  • ISX will suspend trading of Investment Bank of Iraq (BIBI) starting Mar. 26, 2019 due to the GA that will be held on Mar. 30, 2019 to elect 7 new original board members and 7 alternative members. The bank will resume trading on Mar. 31, 2019.
  • Ashour Hotel (HASH) will hold an AGM* on Mar. 17, 2019 to discuss and approve 2013 annual financial results. The company has been suspended from trading since Aug. 8, 2018 for not disclosing 2017 annual financial results.
  • United Bank (BUND) will resume trading on Mar. 17, 2019 by the CBI decision to remove the bank from its custody due to completing the procedure of electing new board members.
  • Al-Mansour Bank (BMNS) held its AGM* on Mar. 14, 2019. In the meeting, the bank decided to distribute 7% cash dividend (IQD0.07 dividend per share, 9.7% dividend yield).
  • Original shares of International Islamic Bank (BINT) resumed trading on Mar. 12, 2019 after approving to increase the capital from IQD100 bn to IQD250 bn through 150% rights issue.
  • ISX requested Union Bank of Iraq (BUOI) to provide its AGM* minutes which was held on Mar. 6, 2019.
  • Credit Bank of Iraq (BROI) resumed trading on Mar. 10, 2019 after discussing and approving 2017 annual financial results and deciding to distribute 2.5% cash dividend (IQD 0.025 dividend per share, 6.4% dividend yield).

Advertising Feature

Rabee Securities Iraq Stock Exchange (ISX) market report (week ending: 14th March 2019).

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

The RSISX index ended the week at IQD604 (+1.6%) / $651 (+1.6%) (weekly change) (-8.4% YTD change). The number of weekly traded shares was 27.5 bn and the weekly trading volume was IQD10.8 bn ($9.0 mn).

ISX Company Announcements

  • According to the ISX announcement, the opening price of the IQD5.0 mn class bonds (CB125) will be IQD5,383,562 on Sunday (Mar. 17, 2019). [Table: 2.3]
  • ISX will suspend trading of Investment Bank of Iraq (BIBI) starting Mar. 26, 2019 due to the GA that will be held on Mar. 30, 2019 to elect 7 new original board members and 7 alternative members. The bank will resume trading on Mar. 31, 2019.
  • Ashour Hotel (HASH) will hold an AGM* on Mar. 17, 2019 to discuss and approve 2013 annual financial results. The company has been suspended from trading since Aug. 8, 2018 for not disclosing 2017 annual financial results.
  • United Bank (BUND) will resume trading on Mar. 17, 2019 by the CBI decision to remove the bank from its custody due to completing the procedure of electing new board members.
  • Al-Mansour Bank (BMNS) held its AGM* on Mar. 14, 2019. In the meeting, the bank decided to distribute 7% cash dividend (IQD0.07 dividend per share, 9.7% dividend yield).
  • Original shares of International Islamic Bank (BINT) resumed trading on Mar. 12, 2019 after approving to increase the capital from IQD100 bn to IQD250 bn through 150% rights issue.
  • ISX requested Union Bank of Iraq (BUOI) to provide its AGM* minutes which was held on Mar. 6, 2019.
  • Credit Bank of Iraq (BROI) resumed trading on Mar. 10, 2019 after discussing and approving 2017 annual financial results and deciding to distribute 2.5% cash dividend (IQD 0.025 dividend per share, 6.4% dividend yield).

By John Lee.

Jordan and Iraq have reportedly started studies to create a joint free industrial zone on their shared border.

A Jordanian government official told Xinhua that an Iraqi delegation visited Jordan this week to check the capacity of factories that will benefit from a decision by Iraq to exempt commodities — including plastics, pharmaceuticals, detergents, chemical materials and food products — from custom duties.

It is expected that the new free-zone will create allow Iraqi businesses to benefit from exemptions and advantages under free trade agreements that Jordan has signed with several countries.

It will also help to increase Jordanian exports to Iraq, which rose by 26.7 percent in 2018 to 465.9 million Jordanian dinars (3.9 million U.S. dollars).

(Source: Xinhua)