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)

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

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)

By John Lee.

The Iraqi Civil Aviation Authority (ICAA) has announced that it has banned all Boeing 737 MAX planes from its airspace.

The move follows the crash of a 737 MAX in Ethiopia on Sunday, which killed 157 people, and another disaster involving that model of aircraft in Indonesia five months ago, which killed 189 people.

(Source: ICAA)