2668JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) is the latest international bank after Citigroup Inc. (C) andStandard Chartered Plc (STAN) to expand business in Iraq as OPEC’s second-largest producer boosts crude oil output and rebuilds its economy.

JPMorgan signed a one-year agreement yesterday to help the Trade Bank of Iraq finance imports of goods and services, John Gibbons, managing director and EMEA regional executive for the New York-based bank, said in an interview in Baghdad.

“Our focus is to open more letters of credit through the Trade Bank of Iraq on behalf of the government and its ministries,” he said.

Iraq, with the world’s fifth-largest proven oil reserves, is modernizing its infrastructure and energy industry after decades of sanctions, war and neglect. It produced 3.2 million barrels a day of crude in June, according to data compiled by Bloomberg, and targets output of 3.5 million barrels by the end of the year. The government is boosting spending by 18 percent in 2013 to $118 billion, and the International Monetary Fund forecasts an annual economic growth rate of 9 percent, the fastest after Libya among 18 countries in the region.

Iraqi officials are in talks with international banks about the opening of offices and branches in the country, Abdul-Basit Turki, acting governor of Iraq’s central bank, said today in an interview in Baghdad. “It is a rich market and the investment opportunities are huge,” Turki said.

Banking Growth

Foreign banks were barred from the country until after the 2003 U.S.-led invasion ousted the government of Saddam Hussein. Today, 15 international banks operate in Iraq, competing with seven state banks, 23 private lenders and nine banks operating under Islamic rules, according to the central bank’s website.

Citigroup plans to open representative offices and branches in Baghdad and the cities of Basra and Erbil to benefit from an estimated $1 trillion of infrastructure spending, Mayank Malik, the U.S. bank’s chief executive officer for Jordan, Iraq, Syria and the Palestinian territories, said in a June 27 interview. The lender is among international banks seeking to finance a pipeline to export Iraqi oil and natural gas through Jordan, Nateq Balasem Khalaf, deputy director general of Iraq’s State Company for Oil Projects, said July 4.

Standard Chartered has said it will open branches this year in Baghdad and Erbil, followed by a third office next year in Basra, a southern oil hub.

Import Payments

The agreement with JPMorgan will help the Trade Bank of Iraq “open more letters of credit that we’re in need of,” TBI chairman and president Hamdiyah Al Jaff said in an interview in Baghdad yesterday. JPMorgan helped set up TBI, the country’s largest bank for trade finance, to facilitate imports needed for Iraq’s postwar reconstruction.

Banks in the country are set for growth in earnings and assets as a surge in lending in Iraq outpaces much of the Middle East, according to Singapore-based Sansar Capital Management LLC, which runs a fund with $30 million invested in Iraqi equities.

Iraq’s rising oil exports and a drop in the prime lending rate to 6 percent from 17 percent in 2008 are feeding the expansion. The five largest privately owned banks boosted their combined net income by 207 percent from 2010 to 2012 and more than doubled earnings per share.

Iraq’s stock exchange drew investors in February when mobile operator Asiacell Communications PJSC listed after a $1.3 billion share sale, in the Middle East’s biggest initial public offering since 2008. The country’s two other mobile operators, Zain Iraq and Korek Telecom, plan to sell shares in IPOs to comply with their license requirements.

Iraq is the biggest oil producer, after Saudi Arabia, in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries.

Source: Bloomberg

The Baghdad Investment Commission has inaugurated a new specialist shopping mall, the largest of its kind in Iraq.


The retail center, which cost 35 million, is located in the smart Baghdad neighborhood of Mansoor.


It specializes in indoor and outdoor shopping with four floors housing some of the world’s most famous commercial brands.


The mall was the largest construction adventure undertaken by the commission and represented one of the biggest private sector investment schemes in the capital.


The commission’s head Shakir al-Zamil said he recently authorized the construction of 2600 housing units for the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research.

Private and foreign investments are pouring into Baghdad, he said, despite the latest upsurge in violence.


Zamil said 14 more projects under construction by private entrepreneurs were to be completed soon.


“The commission is currently negotiating the launch of 30 new projects by private investors in Baghdad,” he added.

Source: Azzaman

Central Bank Governor: Iraq’s economic future will surprise friends Maliki: commercial bank debt returned investors 1.5 billion

Author: Al-Bayan wrote: July 08, 2013 in: Iraq News

BAGHDAD / statement

Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki: We urge the pace after the withdrawal of Iraq from Chapter VII to achieve two main issues, the first increase in wealth, production and diversify sources of income such as tourism, industry, agriculture, and the second employ these resources to provide services and construction and reconstruction as befitting citizens of Iraq.

Maliki confirmed during a speech when attending the celebration of the tenth anniversary of the founding of TBI. "The TBI was able to recover the amount of debt that has been lent to investors, amounting to billion dollars and a half billion to re-lend again to other investors," pointing out that "the bank over difficult conditions and practices were not correct, but quickly took action to correct and re-track to the right things and effectively and strongly."

Maliki said that the most important scored in the banking industry is Neil Iraq and its drained confidence in circles global banking and possession of mattresses advanced among global banks, stressing that the banking system properly and successfully and effectively is one of the most important factors in the success of the process of construction and reconstruction taking place in Iraq.

He praised the significant role played by the TBI and achievable goals which it was established the alleviation of international sanctions and find a window to support the private sector to be a partner with the public sector for the advancement of the country and to promote opportunities for construction and investment. Continued Prime Minister:

We have faced a heavy legacy left behind by the former regime and wreaked havoc in infrastructure and blockade and strained relations with the countries of the world and a significant decline in the level of oil production reached one million barrels per day but today we are looking forward to raise the level of oil production to nine million barrels per day in 2017, as we were able to return Iraq to its natural place and address the problems and obligations relating to international sanctions and thus bring out Iraq from Chapter VII, again thanks to the member states of the UN Security Council and the United Nations and all countries that stood with Iraq and helped him to get rid of international sanctions left behind by the previous regime.

Maliki offered congratulations and blessings to Iraq Commercial Bank management and employees at the bank on the occasion of the tenth anniversary of its foundation and their efforts to revitalize the Iraqi economy and support the process of construction and reconstruction.

He said the Iraqi Central Bank Governor Abdul Basit Turki, on the sidelines of the celebration of the Commercial Bank yesterday that Iraq’s economic future will surprise friends, noting that after coming out of Chapter VII must be the Iraqi market is open to anyone who wants to contribute in accordance with the laws applicable investment.

Turki said that "our performance must be good in order to be an organ bank," stressing that "Iraq’s economic future will be a surprise to friends."

He added that "the Trade Bank of Iraq has had an important role in the development of foreign trade to Iraq and helped significantly ease the Chapter VII sanctions," adding that "market must be open to all competitors Iraq after the withdrawal of Iraq from Chapter VII."

He pointed out that "the Iraqi market is clearly open to anyone who wants to contribute in accordance with the laws applicable investment," noting that "Iraq is not a poor resources and we are trying to shorten the time."

The Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari announced that the Security Council vote on the resolution (2107) completely out of Iraq from Chapter VII and partly not, noting that the Iraqi side of understanding every word coined in the Security Council resolution


Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki at his office today John Kpnz Managing Director of the bank JP Morgan U.S. in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

It seems that the positive atmosphere of dialogue between the political blocs began a reversal on the work of the House of Representatives to pass the law, as it is expected to pass about 20 legally disabled during the next few days after it has been agreed upon.