KAPITA has compiled a study about the economic effects resulting from the COVID-19 Pandemic.

The research aims to provide insights and recommendations to tackle the challenges and opportunities that currently face the various segments of the Iraqi market. This will aid governmental organizations and authorities in devising effective policies to make a faster economic recovery.

Our team studied the magnitude of the current economic crisis resulting from plummeting oil prices and the preventive measures taken against the virus. The research surveyed over 500 people from various professional backgrounds such as public and private sector employees and business owners. Also the research includes insights from experts from a range of fields such as finance, economy, construction and business development.

The study discusses attitudes towards the financial situation and the extent of the impact on different sectors such as, Energy sector, Travel sector, E-commerce, Banking system etc.

Here are some key highlights from the study ‘Surviving the COVID-19 Crisis: Preliminary Findings of the Economic Impact on Iraq“:

  • More than 30% of respondents had their salaries cut-off and over 25% were laid off, stopped working or closed their businesses.
  • Over 27% of the respondents said that their savings would last between 2-4 weeks.
  • Public sector employees are considered to be in a better financial position while a heavier toll was inflicted on private sector employees.
  • Over 40% of employers believe that 1-3 months will be needed to recover from the crisis and 50% of employers believe that zero interest loans could help in a faster recovery.
  • 90% of e-commerce and delivery services were paralyzed due to the curfew imposed.
  • Around 70 private bank activities have been limited due to government debt, and shortage in liquidity affecting revenue, deposits, and profits.

KAPITA’s research team deeply thanks and appreciates its partners who majorly contributed to the completion of this study. We sincerely thank Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) for being an outstanding enabler for us, Iraqi Innovation Alliance (IIA) for their contribution in data collection and Iraq Business News (IBN) for being our media partner.

We would like to thank all the people who filled out the survey and contributed to the shaping of this study to highlight the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on Iraq’s economy.

KAPITA’s research team would like to express its deep gratitude to the interviewees for their help in making this research possible (The following order is the order of the interviews):

  1. Ammar Al-Khatib, Executive Director of The Station
  2. Anas Morshed, Economics Blogger & Business Development Consultant
  3. Mahmoud Al-Daghir, Former Director General of Financial Operations and Debt Management, Central Bank of Iraq (CBI)
  4. Samir Al-Nosery, Banking & Economics Consultant
  5. Tamara Hussein, Head of Traders at Rabee Securities
  6. Omar Salam, Secretary-General of Engineers Syndicate
  7. Abdul Ghani Al-Hassani, Financial Expert & Investment Manager at GroFin
  8. Ayser Jabbar, Media manager of the Central Bank of Iraq (CBI)
  9. Hyder Zahid, Financial Advisor at PMO
  10. Ali Sabeh, President of the Iraqi Federation of Industries
  11. Hamid Ridha, Owner and CEO of Royal Nuts Company.
  12. Mustafa Sirri, Business Environment and Policy Development Advisor in the PSD project of GIZ
  13. Zuhair Sabri, Secretary-General of the Iraqi Contractors Federation
  14. Ahmed Tabaqchali, Senior Fellow at the Institute of Regional and International Studies (IRIS)
  15. Alaa Jassim, Vice President of Earthlink

Please click here to download the full report.

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Rabee Securities Iraq Stock Exchange (ISX) market report (week ending: 30th January 2020).

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

The RSISX index ended the week at IQD556 / $577 (+0.7% weekly change) (-15.6% YTD and -17.6% YTD change, respectively). The number of weekly traded shares was 2.4 bn and the weekly trading volume was IQD2.8 bn ($2.2 mn).

Note: ISX will be closed starting from May 22, 2020 due to the religious holiday of Eid Al-Fitr. The next trading session will be held on May 31, 2020. ISX will resume trading five days a week starting May 31, 2020 (Sunday). The lower daily price change limit will be maintained at 5% and the upper daily price change limit will be maintained at 10%.

 

ISX Company Announcements

  • Zain Al-Iraq Islamic Bank for Investment (BZII) will resume trading on May 31, 2020 after postponing its GA to elect 7 original and 7 alternative board members due to lack of quorum. The new GA date is to be announced later.
  • Ameen Al-Iraq Islamic Bank for Islamic Investment & Finance (BAME) with a capital of IQD100 bn opened for trading on May 17, 2020 in the non-regular market.
  • Cross transaction: 150 mn shares of Iraqi Agricultural Products and Marketing Meat (AIPM) on May 17, 2020, which represents 3% of AIPM’s capital.

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Rabee Securities Iraq Stock Exchange (ISX) market report (week ending: 15th May 2020).

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

The RSISX index ended the week at IQD552 (+0.7%) / $573 (+0.7%) (weekly change) (-16.2% and -18.2% YTD change, respectively). The number of week traded shares was 2.1 bn and the weekly trading volume was IQD2.2 bn ($1.8 mn).

Note: ISX will be closed starting from May 22, 2020 due to the religious holiday of Eid Al-Fitr. The next trading session will be held on May 31, 2020. ISX will resume trading five days a week starting May 31, 2020 (Sunday). The lower daily price change limit will be maintained at 5% and the upper daily price change limit will be maintained at 10%.

ISX Company Announcements

  • Ameen Al-Iraq Islamic Bank for Islamic Investment & Finance (BAME) with a capital of IQD100 bn will start trading on May 17, 2020 in the non-regular market. The opening price will be free for the first three sessions, and then will have +/-20% price change limit.
  • Rajih Islamic Bank for Investment & Finance (BRAJ) with a capital of IQD250 bn will start trading after depositing and activating 5% of the listed shares or after 21 days of depositing the company’s shares.
  • ISX suspended trading of Zain Al-Iraq Islamic Bank for Investment (BZII) starting on May. 12 due to the GA that will be held on May. 17 to elect 7 original and 7 alternative board members.
  • Al-Sadeer Hotel (HSAD) resumed trading on May. 12 after disclosing its financial statements and deciding to increase the company’s capital to IQD1.36 bn through 10% rights issue.

From Rabee Securities; re-published with permission by Iraq Business News:

Mr. Allawi was born in Baghdad in 1947.

He left Iraq in 1958 with his family after the 14 July Revolution (the 1958 Iraqi coup d’état, that resulted in the overthrow of the Hashemite monarchy in Iraq that had been established by King Faisal I in 1921 under the auspices of the British) due to the family’s links to the monarchy.

Both his father, Abdul Amir Allawi served as minister of Health in several cabinets while his grandfather, Abdul Hadi Chalabi was head of the Senate.

Mr. Allawi is a nephew of Ahmad Chalabi (the founder of the Iraqi National Congress (INC) the President of the Governing Council of Iraq, and deputy prime minister).

A Shia Muslim, Allawi, went to school in the UK and graduated from MIT in the United States with a BSc in Civil Engineering in 1968. He completed an MBA from Harvard Business School in 1971, and studied at the London School of Economics.

After completing his MBA, he worked in international development for the World Bank. In 1978, he co-founded the Arab International Finance merchant bank. In 1992 he founded the Fisa Group which manages hedge funds. Between 1999 and 2002 he was a Senior Associate at St Antony’s College, Oxford. He was part of the Iraqi exile opposition community during Saddam Hussein’s rule in Iraq.

After 2003, he held the positions of Minister of Trade and Minister of Defense in the Interim Iraq Governing Council from September 2003 to 2004. From 2005 to 2006, he was Minister of Finance in the Iraqi Transitional Government.

He is also the author of several books including the widely reviewed “The Occupation of Iraq – Winning the War: Losing the Peace » in 2007.  In it he says, “The situation in Iraq is complex, dangerous and fraught with poor alternatives. But it is not hopeless.” In 2009, he published his second book, “The Crisis of Islamic Civilization”, and in 2014 he published the first major biography of King Faisal I, “Faisal I of Iraq”.

The New York Times Book Review called The Occupation of Iraq “…the most comprehensive historical account of the disastrous aftermath of the American Invasion.” In October 2009 the Washington Institute for Near East Policy announced that The Crisis of Islamic Civilization was awarded the Silver Prize of its annual book prize. In December 2009, The Economist named The Crisis of Islamic Civilization one of the Best Books of 2009.

He was elected as a Senior Visiting Fellow at Princeton University for 2008-2009 and has held several visiting scholar positions since.

Mr. Allawi started serving as both finance minister and acting oil minister in Mustafa Al-Kadhimi’s government.

At Rabee Securities we wish the new Minister best of luck at these difficult times.

(Source: Rabee Securities)

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Rabee Securities Iraq Stock Exchange (ISX) market report (week ending: 7th May 2020).

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

The RSISX index ended the week at IQD548 (+9.0%) / $569 (-+9.0%) (weekly change) (-16.8% and -18.8% YTD change, respectively). The number of week traded shares was 4.0 bn and the weekly trading volume was IQD2.1 bn ($1.7 mn).

Note: As we are receiving multiple requests about investing in Iraq because the market is at a very low level, we are bringing the minimum investment down to $20 K for international retail investors.

ISX Company Announcements

  • ISX will suspend trading of Zain Al-Iraq Islamic Bank for Investment (BZII) starting May. 12, 2020 due to the GA that will be held on May. 17, 2020 to elect 7 original and 7 alternative board members.
  • Al-Sadeer Hotel (HSAD) will resume trading on May. 12, 2020 after disclosing its financial statements and deciding to increase the company’s capital from IQD1.23 bn to IQD1.36 bn through 10% rights issue.

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Rabee Securities Iraq Stock Exchange (ISX) market report (week ending: 30th January 2020).

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

The RSISX index ended the week at IQD503 (-12.6%) / $522 (-12.6%) (weekly change) (-23.7% and -25.5% YTD change, respectively). The number of week traded shares was 2.3 bn and the weekly trading volume was IQD1.5 bn ($1.2 mn).

Note: ISX will be open three days a week (Sundays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays) next week, like this week. During that period, the lower daily price change limit will be 5% and the upper daily price change limit will be maintained at 10%.

ISX Company Announcements

  • Asiacell (TASC) increased its customer base by 5% y/y to 14.8 mn as end of 1Q20 due to the good growth in data users, according to its parent, the Qatari company Ooredoo. The company said “Revenue is higher than last year driven by growth in DATA and VAS revenues; impacted by COVID-19 in March 2020.” TASC increased revenues 1% y/y to QAR1,085 mn ($296 mn) in 1Q20. EBITDA increased 0.4% y/y to QAR473 mn ($129 mn) in 1Q20, and EBITDA margin stayed at 44%.  (Ooredoo)
  • The ISX will hold its AGM on Jun. 26, 2020 to discuss and approve 2019 annual financial statements, the board of governors’ 2019 report on the ISX’s activity, and to discuss ISX program for the year 2020.
  • Al Taif Islamic Bank for Investment & Finance (BTIB) sent a letter to the CBI on Apr. 28, 2020 stating that due to the unexpected situations in the country and with imposing full curfew, the bank couldn’t extend the subscription for additional 60 days to complete the subscription for full shares offered that started on Jan. 19, 2019 to increase their capital from IQD100 bn to IQD150 bn. BTIB will notify when the capital increase procedures are complete.
  • Al Nibal Al Arabya for Money Transfer (MTNI) decided to decrease its capital from IQD45 bn to IQD5 bn in its AGM held on Feb. 25, 2020.
  • Elaf Islamic Bank (BELF) resumed trading on Apr. 26, 2020 after discussing and approving 2018 annual financial statements in its AGM held on March 10, 2020.
  • Erbil Bank for Investment and Finance (BERI) resumed trading on Apr. 26, 2020 after electing 7 original and 7 alternative board members in its GA held on Feb. 22, 2020.

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Rabee Securities Iraq Stock Exchange (ISX) market report (week ending: 12th March 2020).

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

The RSISX index ended the week at IQD612 (-5.7%) / $654 (-6.5%) (weekly change) (-12.7% and -12.7% YTD change, respectively). The number of week traded shares was 7.4 bn and the weekly trading volume was IQD5.4 bn ($4.4 mn).

ISX Company Announcements

  • Iraqi for Seed Production (AISP) will hold a GA on Apr. 5, 2020 to elect 4 original and 4 alternative board members. The company had been suspended from trading since Nov. 12, 2019 due to not disclosing its 2019 financial statements.
  • ISX will suspend trading of Karbala Hotels (HKAR) starting Apr. 12, 2020 due to the AGM that will be held on Apr. 15, 2020 to discuss and approve 2017 and 2018 annual financial results.
  • ISX requested Al Taif Islamic Bank for Investment & Finance (BTIB) on Mar. 11, 2020 to provide their public subscription result.
  • Gulf Insurance and Reinsurance (NGIR) resumed trading on Mar. 9, 2020 after discussing and approving 2018 annual financial statements.
  • Al-Ameen Financial Investment (VAMF) resumed trading on Mar. 9, 2020 after electing 5 new original and 5 alternative board members.
  • Cross transaction: 3.0 bn shares of Trans Iraq Bank for Investment (BTRI) on Mar. 10, 2020, which represents 1.1% of BTRI’s capital.

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Rabee Securities Iraq Stock Exchange (ISX) market report (week ending: 5th March 2020).

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

The RSISX index ended the week at IQD610 (+1.7%) / $654 (+1.7%) (weekly change) (-7.4% and -6.7% YTD change, respectively). The number of week traded shares was 10.4 bn and the weekly trading volume was IQD31.3 bn ($25.8 mn).

ISX Company Announcements

  • The Center for Banking Studies at the Central Bank of Iraq organized a seminar titled Governance of Governmental Banks, presented by Dr. Khawla Talib Al-Asadi, former General Manager of the Rafidain Bank. The symposium included several axes on the importance of structuring and governing banks to manage their risks, the importance of automating operations, and developing internal control systems. (CBI)
  • ISX suspended trading of Elaf Islamic Bank (BELF) starting Mar. 5, 2020 due to the AGM that will be held on Mar. 10, 2020 to discuss and approve 2018 annual financial statements.
  • Al-Ameen Financial Investment (VAMF) held its GA on Mar. 5, 2020 to elect 5 new original and 5 alternative board members.
  • The legal procedures of adjusting article 1 of The Light Industries (ITLI) company contract has been completed and the company has changed its name from The Light Industries to Light and Mining Industries (ITLI).

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Rabee Securities Iraq Stock Exchange (ISX) market report (week ending: 27th February 2020).

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

The RSISX index ended the week at IQD600 (+0.5%) / $6439 (+0.1%) (weekly change) (9.0% and -8.2% YTD change, respectively). The number of week traded shares was 6.1 bn and the weekly trading volume was IQD5.8 bn ($4.8 mn).

ISX Company Announcements

  • ISX will suspend trading of Elaf Islamic Bank (BELF) starting Mar. 5, 2020 due to the AGM that will be held on Mar. 10, 2020 to discuss and approve 2018 annual financial statements.
  • Al-Qabedh Islamic Bank for Finance & Investment (BQAB) resumed trading on Feb. 27, 2020 after discussing and approving the financial statements belong to following periods Jan. 1, 2015 – Dec. 31, 2015, Jan. 1, 2016 – Oct. 17, 2016 (while it was a money transfer company), and the following periods Oct. 8, 2016 – Dec. 31, 2016, Jan. 1, 2017 – Dec. 31, 2017 belong to it after becoming an Islamic Bank.
  • Iraq Baghdad for General Transport (SBPT) invited its shareholders to receive their 2018 dividends. The company announced in December 2019 that it had decided in its AGM held on Dec. 15, 2019 to distribute 100% cash dividend (IQD1.00 dividend per share, 4.9% dividend yield).
  • ISX requested Erbil Bank for Investment and Finance (BERI) to provide its AGM minutes for the GA held on Feb. 22, 2020.
  • Mansour Hotel (HMAN) resumed trading on Feb. 25, 2020 after discussing and approving 2018 annual financial statements.
  • According to the ISC decision, Al Nibal Al Arabya for Money Transfer (MTNI) has been delisted from the ISX starting Feb. 24, 2020 due to the shift in the company’s activities from money transfer company into an (A) class exchange company and lower the company’s capital to suit its new activity.
  • ISX suspended trading of Al-Ameen Financial Investment (VAMF) starting Feb. 24, 2020 due to the GA that will be held on Feb. 27, 2020 to elect 5 new original and 5 alternative board members.
  • Cross transactions: 3.1 bn shares of Trans Iraq Bank for Investment (BTRI) on Feb. 27, 2020, which represents 1.2% of BTRI’s capital.

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Rabee Securities Iraq Stock Exchange (ISX) market report (week ending: 20th February 2020).

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

The RSISX index ended the week at IQD597 (+1.5%) / $637 (+1.9%) (weekly change) (-9.5% and -9.1% YTD change, respectively). The number of week traded shares was 6.0 bn and the weekly trading volume was IQD4.4 bn ($3.6 mn).

ISX Company Announcements

  • Asiacell (TASC) reported revenue growth of 3% to QAR 4.6 bn (around $1.3 bn) in 2019, despite a flat customer base of 14.2 mn customers. The company maintained a healthy EBITDA margin of 45% in 2019 while EBITDA declined slightly from QAR 2.1 bn (around $575 mn) in 2018 to QAR 2.0 bn (around $548 mn) in 2019. Asiacell upgraded its entire network to support 3G, achieving the widest 3G coverage in the country in 2019. According to Ooredoo, Asiacell restored service to liberated regions and further expanded to the south of the country. (Ooredoo, Iraq Business News)
  • Mobile telecommunications company Zain has reported that its Iraqi revenue was stable at $1.1 bn in 2019, despite a competitive landscape and economic and political issues in Zain stronghold regions. Announcing its results for 2019, the company said: “Zain Iraq’s (TZNI) EBITDA grew strongly by 10% y/y amounting to $465 mn (43% EBITDA margin) based on the operational transformation program. Accordingly, the operation reported a net profit of $63 mn for 2019, up 28% y/y. Zain Iraq’s focus on customer experience, services expansion across the country and cost transformation combined with growth of data and digital revenue were key drivers of its performance.” It was mentioned that retention and customer loyalty initiatives also resulted in the company serving 15.7 mn customers. (Zain, Iraq Business News)
  • ISX suspend trading of Gulf Insurance and Reinsurance (NGIR) starting Feb. 18, 2020 due to the AGM that will be held on Feb. 23, 2020 to discuss and approve 2018 annual financial statements.
  • The CBI has approved for Al-Manafaa for Money Transfer (MTMA) to turn from a money transfer company into an (A) class exchange company. The company suspended from trading starting Feb. 17, 2020.
  • Credit Bank of Iraq (BROI) resumed trading on Feb. 17, 2020 after electing 9 original and 9 alternative board members.
  • Karbala Hotels (HKAR) resumed trading on Feb. 16, 2020 since the AGM has not been approved. The company has been requested to set a new AGM date.
  • International Islamic Bank (BINT) resumed trading on Feb. 16, 2020 after its GA held on Feb. 2, 2020. The company will be monitored in regards to the merge and the capital increase procedures.
  • Cross transaction: 2.8 bn shares of Trans Iraq Bank for Investment (BTRI) on Feb. 16, 2020, which represents 1.1% of BTRI’s capital.