By John Lee.

Iran‘s President Hassan Rouhani arrived in Iraq on Monday as the head of a high-ranking political and economic delegation at the official invitation of the President and Prime Minister of Iraq.

Barham Salih, President of Iraq, officially welcomed President Rouhani at Baghdad’s as-Salam Palace.

Dr Rouhani will have meetings with the President and Prime Minister of Iraq on deepening bilateral and regional cooperation.

He will also have a meeting with Grand Ayatollah Sistani and make pilgrimage to the holy shrines.

(Source: Office of the President of Iran)

By John Lee.

The United States Treasury Department has sanctioned Harakat Hezbollah al Nujaba, a radical Muslim militia group of about 10,000 fighters, as well as its leader Akram Kaabi.

The full statement from the​ Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC)  can be read here.

(Source: US Treasury Department)

By John Lee.

The National Investment Commission (NIC) has announced a new investment opportunity in Iraq:

(Source: National Investment Commission)

(Picture: Business opportunity word cloud, from ibreakstock/Shutterstock)

By John Lee.

The National Investment Commission (NIC) has announced a new investment opportunity in Iraq:

(Source: National Investment Commission)

(Picture: Business opportunity word cloud, from ibreakstock/Shutterstock)

By John Lee.

Iraqi and Kurdistan Regional Government authorities have charged hundreds of children with terrorism for alleged Islamic State (also known as ISIS) affiliation, Human Rights Watch (HRW) has said, adding that the prosecutions are often based on dubious accusations and forced confessions obtained through torture.

The 53-page report, “‘Everyone Must Confess’: Abuses against Children Suspected of ISIS Affiliation in Iraq,” shows that Iraqi and KRG authorities often arrest and prosecute children with any perceived connection to ISIS, use torture to coerce confessions, and sentence them to prison in hasty and unfair trials.

International law recognizes children recruited by armed groups primarily as victims who should be rehabilitated and reintegrated into society.

More here.

(Source: HRW)

KRG Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani received Jordanian Minister of Industry, Trade, and Supply Dr. Tariq al-Hammouri, Jordanian Ambassador to Iraq Montaser Oklah, Consul General of The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan to the Kurdistan Region Haitham Abu Alfoul, and their accompanying delegation.

Minister al-Hammouri highlighted historical relations between the Kurdistan Region and Jordan and expressed willingness to further strengthen and develop these relations, particularly in the fields of trade and banking. He also conveyed the support of His Majesty King Abdullah II of Jordan and his government to the Kurdistan Region.

Prime Minister Barzani thanked His Majesty King Abdullah II for his support to the Kurdistan Region during difficult periods, and expressed the willingness of the Kurdistan Region to strengthen relations with Jordan, particularly in the economic field. He hoped that Jordanian businessmen would take advantage of investment opportunities in the Kurdistan Region.

The post ISIS situation in the region and the crisis of displaced persons in the Kurdistan Region and refugees in Jordan were also discussed.

They also stressed the eradication of terrorism through coordination among the countries of the region and the international community.

(Source: KRG)

By John Lee.

Iraqi media reported on Thursday that an agreement was signed between the Iraqi Ministries of Education and Communication to cut internet service during the period of the next “ministerial examinations” (sic).

The Ministry of Communications denies the reports, adding that it wishes to assure the Iraqi public that there is no intention to cut off the internet under any circumstances, because it “affects the lifeblood of life in Iraq, causing it to be blocked or severely damaged by the Iraqi national economy and all life facilities in the country“.

The Ministry also calls upon the relevant authorities in the Ministry of Education to use other methods to combat exam fraud.

(Source: Ministry of Communications)

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

Iraqi security forces killed five suicide attackers northwest of the northern Iraqi city of Mosul Feb. 20. A car bomb in central Mosul killed one civilian and wounded 13 others Feb. 28, just the latest in many recent incidents that have also hit the southern and western parts of the country.

A group of Islamic State fighters entered Haditha province in Anbar governorate on the evening of Feb. 23 and crossed Lake Tharthar in private boats. In Najaf governorate, they came upon six fishermen sleeping in a tent and opened fire, killing them all.

On the same day, an IS group armed with explosive belts and machine guns attacked the village of Anamel in al-Shirqat, Saladin governorate. The residents along with the Federal Police and the Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) fought back.

Click here to read the full story.

By John Lee.

Kuwait is reportedly planning to build towns close to the Iraqi border, and talking with Iraqi authorities to develop a “free zone” between the two countries.

According to Kuna, First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defence Sheikh Nasser Sabah Al Ahmad Al Sabah (pictured) said the plan was currently “the preoccupation and focal task” of the government and the Supreme Planning Council.

He added that Kuwait’s planned Madinat Al Harir (Silk City) is expected to attract between $400- and $650-billion in investment over 25 years.

(Source: Kuna)

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Rabee Securities Iraq Stock Exchange (ISX) market report (week ending: 7th March 2019).

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

The RSISX index ended the week at IQD595 (+3.0%) / $640 (-2.0%) (weekly change) (-9.8% and -9.8% YTD change, respectively). The number of week traded shares was 14.8 bn and the weekly trading volume was IQD6.4 bn ($5.3 mn).

ISX Company Announcements

  • According to the ISX announcement, the opening price of the IQD5.0 mn class bonds (CB125) will be IQD5,375,890 on Sunday (Mar. 10, 2019). [Table: 2.3]
  • ISX will suspend 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.
  • ISX will suspend trading of Middle East Producing & Marketing – Fish (AMEF) starting Mar. 14, 2019 due to the GA that will be held on Mar. 19, 2019 to elect new board members. AMEF will resume trading on Mar. 20, 2019.
  • ISX will suspend trading of Al-Mansour Bank (BMNS) starting Mar. 11, 2019 due to the AGM* that will be held on Mar. 14, 2019 to discuss and approve 2018 annual financial results.
  • Credit Bank of Iraq (BROI) will resume 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). The opening price will be IQD0.37 with +/-20% change.
  • Al -Hilal Industries (IHLI) will resume trading on Mar. 10, 2019 due to disclosing its 2017 annual financial results.
  • ISX requested Modern Animal and Agricultural productions (AMAP) on Mar. 5, 2019 to disclose its AGM* minutes that was held on Feb. 28, 2019.
  • ISX suspended trading of International Islamic Bank (BINT) starting Mar. 4, 2019 due to the AGM* that will be held on Mar. 7 to increase company’s capital from IQD100 bn to IQD250 bn through 150% rights issue.
  • ISX announced that Al-Ameen Insurance (NAME) resumed trading on Mar. 4, because it received a letter sent by the Board of Insurance which is stating that NAME is continuing its activities, except life insurance.
  • Cross Transactions: 13.0 bn shares of Trust International Islamic Bank (BTRU) on Mar. 3, 2019, which represents 5.2% of BTRU capital.