By Kamal Chomani for Al-Monitor. Any opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi is under great pressure from his government to force the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) to deliver the allotted 250,000 barrels of oil per day to the State Organization for Marketing of Oil, as per the 2019 federal budget law.

Pan-Arab newspaper Asharq al-Awsat reported on May 22 that Abdul Mahdi has threatened to slash the KRG budget if the oil is not delivered. Ayad Allawi, the head of al-Watania alliance announced on May 28, that Abdul Mahdi asked him to go to Erbil and discuss the oil dispute with Barzani.

Allawi met with Barzani and received assurance from him to cooperate with Baghdad. Yet the dispute has not been solved.

Click here to read the full story.

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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

Zain Iraq becomes first operator in the Middle East to introduce purchase solution via Facebook

Zain Iraq, the country’s largest mobile operator by customer numbers, announces the introduction of a solution that enables customers to purchase offers via their Facebook app, making it the first operator in the Middle East to provide this functionality, and among the first 10 providers to do so worldwide.

The service, which is available on Android devices, and via the portal on iOS phones, was introduced by Zain Iraq in coordination with Facebook.

Ali Al Zahid (pictured), Zain Iraq CEO, commented:

“Zain wants its services to be as convenient as possible by providing the best customer experience. Being the first operator in the Middle East to launch this solution gives us tremendous confidence that we are building the next positive differentiator in our market.

“Our business is evolving, with customers in search of simple solutions that are easy to use, and which fit neatly into their daily lives. I am extremely proud of our team who cater to every need of our 16-million customers.”

Facebook is extremely popular in Iraq, numbering over 20 million accounts. Zain Iraq counts the highest number of Facebook phone users in the country with over 5 million  followers, according to figures from the social media platform.

(Source: Zain)

Zain Iraq becomes first operator in the Middle East to introduce purchase solution via Facebook

Zain Iraq, the country’s largest mobile operator by customer numbers, announces the introduction of a solution that enables customers to purchase offers via their Facebook app, making it the first operator in the Middle East to provide this functionality, and among the first 10 providers to do so worldwide.

The service, which is available on Android devices, and via the portal on iOS phones, was introduced by Zain Iraq in coordination with Facebook.

Ali Al Zahid (pictured), Zain Iraq CEO, commented:

“Zain wants its services to be as convenient as possible by providing the best customer experience. Being the first operator in the Middle East to launch this solution gives us tremendous confidence that we are building the next positive differentiator in our market.

“Our business is evolving, with customers in search of simple solutions that are easy to use, and which fit neatly into their daily lives. I am extremely proud of our team who cater to every need of our 16-million customers.”

Facebook is extremely popular in Iraq, numbering over 20 million accounts. Zain Iraq counts the highest number of Facebook phone users in the country with over 5 million  followers, according to figures from the social media platform.

(Source: Zain)

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

How Iraq’s Kurds are failing to come together over their new president

Nechirvan Barzani, the prime minister of Iraq’s Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), was elected president by the semi-autonomous region’s parliament today in a session that was boycotted by the main opposition party.

Barzani, who is the nephew and son-in-law of the enclave’s veteran leader and former President Massoud Barzani, won 68 votes from 81 members present in the 111-member chamber.

Members of the opposition Gorran (Change) Movement as well as Turkmens and Assyrians joined Barzani’s Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) to push through the nomination despite the unexpected defection of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK).

Click here to read the full story.

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

How Iraq’s Kurds are failing to come together over their new president

Nechirvan Barzani, the prime minister of Iraq’s Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), was elected president by the semi-autonomous region’s parliament today in a session that was boycotted by the main opposition party.

Barzani, who is the nephew and son-in-law of the enclave’s veteran leader and former President Massoud Barzani, won 68 votes from 81 members present in the 111-member chamber.

Members of the opposition Gorran (Change) Movement as well as Turkmens and Assyrians joined Barzani’s Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) to push through the nomination despite the unexpected defection of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK).

Click here to read the full story.

By John Lee.

According to a report from Reuters, employees from Exxon Mobil will start returning to work at the West Qurna 1 oilfield on Sunday.

Sources told the news agency that the company had received assurances from the Iraqi Ministry of Oil and the Basra Oil Company (BOC) that its staff would receive extra security.

Earlier in the month, the company evacuated about 30 foreign engineers from Basra as a “temporary precautionary measure”.

(Source: Reuters)

There can be no doubting Iraq’s oil credentials. It is Opec’s number two oil producer, second only to Saudi Arabia, and holds the world’s fifth-largest proved oil reserves. Production is on the rise, having nearly doubled over the past decade, averaging around 4.5 million barrels per day in 2018.

Almost 90 per cent of the country’s output comes from giant oilfields in the southern part of the country. The remainder is largely pumped from oilfields in the northeast, in the semiautonomous Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI), which is under the control of the Kurdistan Regional Government.

This is good news for a country that is heavily dependent on revenues from its oil exports, which, according to the IMF, accounted for almost 90 per cent of total government revenues in 2017. The rise in oil prices, despite recent wobbles in the face of US-China trade tensions, has certainly been a boost to the country’s coffers and provides further impetus for investment in development and infrastructure.

This upwards trajectory is likely to continue as the country seeks to fill the supply gap left by new US sanctions on Iran. Iraq is keen to lift production capacity to 5 million bpd this year, and to 8.5 million bpd in the coming years as it upgrades its infrastructure. The southern oilfields are key to this growth, expected to pump some 6.5 million bpd in the coming years, with the country keen to partner with international oil companies (IOCs) to secure the necessary investment to unlock its vast resource potential.

Iraq’s growing importance as a key player on the world’s energy stage will be discussed at the upcoming CWC two-day event, Iraq Petroleum, which will be held in London on June 27-28 in collaboration with the new Federal Government of Iraq. For the first time, the event is being co-located with the one-day Kirkuk & Mosul Mega-Projects event on June 29, where delegates will be first to hear government plans and investment opportunities to develop the giant oilfields in the newly liberated oil-rich areas of Kirkuk and Mosul.

The three-day event brings together key figures shaping the future of this strategically important country. The Iraqi ministerial delegation will be led by H.E. Thamir Gadbhan, Deputy Prime Minister for Energy & Minister of Oil along with the heads of the Basra Oil Company and North Oil Company, while the international oil industry is well represented, with confirmed speakers including Michael Townshend, Regional President of BP Middle East, Jeffrey T. Levy, President of Chevron Chevron Europe, Eurasia and Middle East E&P, Majid Jafar, CEO of Crescent Petroleum, and Gati Saadi Al-Jebouri, Managing Director of LUKOIL Mid-East Limited.

It’s not just oil that’s creating new investment opportunities for international partners. Oslo-based energy consultancy Rystad Energy forecasts that in terms of resoruces sanctioned for development, gas will overtake oil projects in 2019, with new projects, mainly in the Kurdistan Region, set to triple the country’s gas output from just over 1 billion cubic feet per day in 2017 to 3 billion cf/d in 2022, enabling it to meet growing domestic demand for gas and possibly even launch the country as a gas exporter for the first time. Again, it’s a topic that will be widely covered at CWC’s Iraq Petroleum event, including presentations from Dr Jaafar Oklany, commercial director of Basra Gas Company and Ali H. Khudhier Al-Saady, former director general of South Gas Company, Basra.

For anyone with an interest in Iraq’s future, and indeed the stability of the world energy mix, this is one event not to be missed.

For further information, visit https://www.cwciraqpetroleum.com/

For full programme, download the brochure

(Source: CWC)

Advertising Feature

Rabee Securities Iraq Stock Exchange (ISX) market report (week ending: 30th May 2019).

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

The RSISX index ended the week at IQD666 (+4.0%) / $718 (+4.2%) (weekly change) (+1.1% and +1.2% YTD change, respectively). The number of week traded shares was 8.2 bn and the weekly trading volume was IQD4.8 bn ($4.0 mn).

ISX Company Announcements

  • The Board of Directors of the initiative of Tamkeen, sponsored by the Central Bank of Iraq and financed by banks and exchange companies and under the supervision of the Association of Iraqi private banks, agreed to finance a number of industrial projects and initiatives in Muthanna province in the field of plastic and food industries and others. This comes in support of the economic reality and the alleviation of the unemployment rate in the province. It is worth mentioning that this initiative works to finance various industrial, service, environmental and social projects, and is distributed among all Iraqi governorates. (CBI.iq)
  • ISX will suspend trading of Al-Ameen Estate Investment (SAEI) starting Jun. 19, 2019 due to the AGM* that will be held on Jun. 24, 2019 to discuss and approve 2017 annual financial results.
  • ISX will suspend trading of Iraqi for Tufted Carpets (IITC) starting Jun. 13, 2019 due to the AGM* that will be held on Jun. 18, 2019 to discuss and approve 2018 annual financial results.
  • ISX will suspend trading of Baghdad Soft Drinks (IBSD) starting Jun. 10, 2019 due to the AGM* that will be held on Jun. 24, 2019 to discuss and approve 2018 annual financial results and increasing the company’s capital through bonus issue.