Iraq Business News (en)

New Career Opportunities in Iraqi Kurdistan

Iraq Business News (en) - Sat, 02/17/2018 - 3:45am

By John Lee.

The United Nations has advertised new positions in Iraqi Kurdistan:

(Source: UN)

Details of Defeat-ISIS Strikes in Syria, Iraq

Iraq Business News (en) - Sat, 02/17/2018 - 2:51am

Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve and its partners continued to strike Islamic State of Iraq and Syria targets in designated parts of Syria and Iraq between Feb. 9-15, conducting 43 strikes consisting of 63 engagements, Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve officials reported today.

Strikes in Syria

Yesterday in Syria, coalition military forces conducted four strikes consisting of five engagements against ISIS targets:

— Near Abu Kamal, three strikes engaged two ISIS tactical units and destroyed an ISIS supply route, a staging area and a weapons cache.

— Near Shadaddi, a strike engaged an ISIS tactical unit and destroyed an ISIS headquarters.

On Feb. 14, coalition military forces conducted two strikes consisting of two engagements against ISIS targets:

— Near Abu Kamal, a strike engaged an ISIS tactical unit.

— Near Dayr Az Zawr, a strike engaged two ISIS tactical units and destroyed an ISIS outpost.

On Feb. 13, coalition military forces conducted four strikes consisting of six engagements against ISIS targets near Abu Kamal. The strikes suppressed two ISIS maneuver elements and destroyed a fighting position, a heavy machine gun and an artillery system.

On Feb. 12, coalition military forces conducted 10 strikes consisting of 13 engagements against ISIS targets:

— Near Abu Kamal, nine strikes engaged an ISIS tactical unit; suppressed an ISIS maneuver element; and destroyed two artillery systems, a tactical vehicle, a heavy machine gun, two ISIS supply routes, a fighting position and a command-and-control center.

— Near Shadaddi, a strike destroyed two ISIS fighting positions.

On Feb. 11, coalition military forces conducted seven strikes consisting of 11 engagements against ISIS targets near Abu Kamal. The strikes engaged two ISIS tactical units and destroyed two fighting positions, an ISIS-held building, a command-and-control center, three tactical vehicles and two ISIS-supply routes.

On Feb. 10, coalition military forces conducted nine strikes consisting of 11 engagements against ISIS targets:

— Near Abu Kamal, eight strikes engaged six ISIS tactical units and destroyed two command and control centers, a fighting position, an ISIS-held building, a weapons cache, an ISIS motorcycle and a mortar tube.

— Near Dayr Az Zawr, a strike engaged two tactical units of hostile forces and destroyed a tank.

On Feb. 9, coalition military forces conducted three strikes consisting of seven engagements against ISIS targets near Abu Kamal. The strikes engaged three ISIS tactical units and damaged an ISIS-held building.

Additional Strikes in Syria

On Feb. 8, coalition military forces conducted a strike consisting of one engagement near Raqqa, engaging an ISIS tactical unit.

On Jan. 31, coalition military forces conducted a strike consisting of one engagement near Shadaddi, destroying an ISIS rocket fighting position.

Strikes in Iraq

On Feb. 15, coalition military forces conducted a strike consisting of two engagements against ISIS targets near Rutbah. The strike destroyed an ISIS weapons cache.

On Feb. 14, coalition military forces conducted two strikes consisting of three engagements against ISIS targets near Beiji. The strikes engaged an ISIS tactical unit and destroyed an ISIS facility.

There were no reported strikes in Iraq on Feb. 12-13.

On Feb. 11, coalition military forces conducted a strike consisting of one engagement against ISIS targets near Tal Afar. The strike engaged an ISIS tactical unit and destroyed an ISIS tunnel.

There were no reported strikes in Iraq on Feb. 9-10.

Additional Strikes in Iraq

On Jan. 27, coalition military forces conducted a strike consisting of one engagement in support of an Iraqi raid on a high-value ISIS leader.

Part of Operation Inherent Resolve

These strikes were conducted as part of Operation Inherent Resolve, the operation to destroy ISIS in Iraq and Syria. The destruction of ISIS targets in Iraq and Syria also further limits the group’s ability to project terror and conduct external operations throughout the region and the rest of the world, task force officials said.

The list above contains all strikes conducted by fighter, attack, bomber, rotary-wing or remotely piloted aircraft; rocket-propelled artillery; and ground-based tactical artillery, officials noted.

A strike, as defined by the coalition, refers to one or more kinetic engagements that occur in roughly the same geographic location to produce a single or cumulative effect.

For example, task force officials explained, a single aircraft delivering a single weapon against a lone ISIS vehicle is one strike, but so is multiple aircraft delivering dozens of weapons against a group of ISIS-held buildings and weapon systems in a compound, having the cumulative effect of making that facility harder or impossible to use. Strike assessments are based on initial reports and may be refined, officials said.

The task force does not report the number or type of aircraft employed in a strike, the number of munitions dropped in each strike, or the number of individual munition impact points against a target.

(Source: US Dept of Defense)

$30bn Pledged to Iraq – Time to Act!

Iraq Business News (en) - Thu, 02/15/2018 - 5:15pm

Following the Kuwait International Conference for the Reconstruction of Iraq earlier this week, Iraq has so far received pledges of financing totalling around $30 billion to help with rebuilding the country after the devastating war against the Islamic State group.

While this is well short of the $88 billion in funding estimated to be needed, it is still a very significant boost for the country’s reconstruction programme, and will greatly improve the quality of life for millions of Iraqis.

Commenting on the outcome, UN Secretary-General António Guterres said:

After the last three days in Kuwait, I feel hope for a new Iraq that is open for business and prepared to face the next challenge of rebuilding communities while reconstructing schools, roads, bridges, hospitals and public infrastructure.

“A prosperous Iraq will be a pillar for development and stability in the region.

Many readers of Iraq Business News will play key roles in this reconstruction effort, and we would like to wish them every success in this important work.

To promote your business to the Iraqi market, please contact our sales manager, David Jeffries: david.jeffries@iraq-businessnews.com, +44 20 8150 5293.

Iraq to Increase Oil Capacity by 40%

Iraq Business News (en) - Thu, 02/15/2018 - 3:54am

By John Lee.

Oil Minister Jabar Ali al-Luaibi [Allibi, Luiebi] (pictured) has said Iraq plans to increase its crude oil production capacity from 5 million bpd at present to 7 million bpd by 2022.

According to a report from Reuters, he added that Iraq needs $4 billion for new investments in its downstream oil industry, lifting refining capacity to 1.5 million bpd by 2021.

It said the increase in refining capacity would come from seven projects, some of them new and some involving the expansion of existing refineries.

(Source: Reuters)

US EXIM agrees $3bn Iraq Financing

Iraq Business News (en) - Thu, 02/15/2018 - 3:53am

On Tuesday, the Export-Import Bank of the United States (EXIM) entered into a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Iraq’s Ministry of Finance aimed at rebuilding Iraq and enhancing trade and economic cooperation between the two countries.

EXIM’s Acting Vice Chairman Scott Schloegel signed the MOU today with Iraq’s Deputy Finance Minister Dr. Maher Hammad Johan at the Kuwait International Conference for the Reconstruction of Iraq held at Bayan Palace in Kuwait City.

U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Douglas A. Silliman and Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi also attended. The signing was part of a U.S. diplomatic mission from February 11-16 being led by U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to Jordan, Turkey, Beirut, Lebanon, Egypt, and Kuwait.

“This MOU signals that American workers want to be part of the rebuilding effort in Iraq,” said Acting Vice Chairman Scott Schloegel. “We anticipate that the financing following from this agreement will support scores of jobs across the United States over the coming years.”

Under the MOU, EXIM and Iraq’s Ministry of Finance agreed to identify potential projects in Iraq for procurement of goods manufactured in the United States and services produced by American workers. Areas for collaboration and business development include infrastructure, rail and road transportation, aircraft, energy, health care, and security, among others.

EXIM has agreed to facilitate short- and medium-term financing of U.S. exports to Iraqi state-owned enterprises up to a total of $3 billion in aggregate.

Up to $1 billion of this financing may be allocated to eligible short-term commodity transactions. Access to EXIM financing is subject to the bank’s approval for each individual transaction and must comply with the terms for EXIM’s financing.

(Source: EXIM)

Saudi Arabia to re-open Consulate in Basra

Iraq Business News (en) - Thu, 02/15/2018 - 3:52am

By John Lee.

Saudi Arabia will reportedly re-open its consulate in Basra within two weeks.

Al Arabiya says that the consulate closed in 1990 during the second Gulf war.

(Source: Al Arabiya)

(Picture: Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi meeting Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, King of Saudi Arabia, 19th June 2017)

Ex-Minister sentenced to 21 years for “Corruption”

Iraq Business News (en) - Thu, 02/15/2018 - 3:51am

An Iraqi court on February 12 sentenced former trade minister Abdul Falah al-Sudani to 21 years in prison on corruption charges.

Sudani was involved in a corruption scandal connected to the country’s massive food rations programme.

He was given three sentences, two for “negligence” with a 14-year jail term and a third for “misconduct” with a seven-year term, according to Iraqi Shafaq News.

Sudani, who belongs to the ruling Dawa Party, served as minister of trade from 2006 to 2009.

He was sacked and slapped with criminal charges in 2009. Released on bail, Sudani was then arrested as he tried to flee the country, but he managed to flee again.

The former trade minister was extradited from Lebanon and taken into Iraqi custody on 25 January.

Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi has earlier vowed to fight corruption, saying it is the second war the country has to fight following its victory over IS.

(Source: GardaWorld)

World Bank’s Commitment to Iraq Reaches $4.7bn

Iraq Business News (en) - Wed, 02/14/2018 - 7:58pm

The World Bank Group and the Government of Iraq signed two projects today totaling US$510 million to help the Iraqi people by improving living conditions, enhancing water supplies, and creating jobs.

The two projects along with the ongoing US$750 million Emergency Operation for Development program and other planned commitments, will increase the World Bank’s total commitment to Iraq to US$4.7 billion, compared to US$600 million four years ago.

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi and World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim (pictured) attended the signing ceremony for the two projects, which took place on the sidelines of the Iraq Reconstruction Conference hosted by the State of Kuwait.

The increased Bank commitment will help support immediate restoration of education and health services, rebuilding important roads and bridges, and rehabilitation of electricity and water systems. The ongoing emergency reconstruction projects have already created thousands of jobs for Iraqis and the new projects are expected to create millions more.

“We will mobilize the full range of the World Bank Group’s expertise to invest in a new, stronger Iraq,” President Kim said in a speech at the opening of the Iraq Reconstruction Conference. “We will continue to work with our international partners to ensure the smooth and sustainable transition from stabilization through recovery to reconstruction.”

The World Bank is committed to scaling up its support for Iraq reconstruction and development subject to availability of resources. In addition to the financial support, the World Bank Group has been actively engaging with the Iraqi Government through providing technical assistance for Iraq’s recovery and to lay the foundation for private sector investments in Iraq.

“We will work hand in hand with the private sector to support Iraq,” said Kim. “We must all invest in Iraq’s smart and ambitious youth. We must invest in Iraq’s resilient women. These are the investments that will remain long after the reconstruction process has ended.”

In the leadup to the conference, the Iraqi government unveiled its National Reconstruction and Development Framework. The framework aims to both redress the impact of the current crisis and prevent future crises by addressing the structural causes of conflict.

By promoting the critical reforms needed to establish a new social contract, the framework provides a roadmap for rebuilding trust between citizens and the government.

To read the full transcript of President Kim’s speech, click here.

(Source: World Bank Group)

Genel Updates on Oil Reserves

Iraq Business News (en) - Wed, 02/14/2018 - 7:58pm

By John Lee.

Genel Energy has announced the completion of competent person’s reports (‘CPRs’) relating to the oil reserves and resources at Taq Taq, Bina Bawi, and Miran.

McDaniel and Associates have updated the CPR relating to the Taq Taq field (Genel 44% working interest, joint operator).

RPS Energy Consultants Ltd. (‘RPS’), as part of its work on the updated CPRs for the Bina Bawi and Miran West fields (Genel 100% and operator), has finalised its evaluation of the oil resources at both fields.

Murat Özgül (pictured), Chief Executive of Genel, said:

“The 40% replacement of 1P reserves at Taq Taq follows the success of well TT-29w, and reflects the stability in cash-generative production that we have seen from the field in the second half of 2017. The significant increase in high-value Bina Bawi 2C oil resources offers a tangible opportunity for near-term value creation.”

Taq Taq oil reserves

Taq Taq gross 2P reserves as of 31 December 2017 are estimated by McDaniel at 54.7 MMbbls, compared to 59.1 MMbbls as of 28 February 2017, with the difference being production in the intervening period, partly offset by a small upward technical revision.

The CPR results in a 12% reserves replacement for 2P and 40% reserves replacement at the higher confidence 1P level as a result of stabilising production and the integration of well TT-29w. A reconciliation from the reserves reported in the CPR released in February 2017 to the updated estimates in the CPR published today, is shown in the following table:

Gross oil reserves (MMbbls – McDaniel)

1P

2P

3P

28 February 2017

25.8

59.1

95.0

Production

(5.0)

(5.0)

(5.0)

Technical revisions

2.0

0.6

0.1

31 December 2017

22.8

54.7

90.1

Bina Bawi and Miran oil resources

Bina Bawi gross 2C light (c.45◦ API) oil resources as of 31 December 2017 are estimated by RPS at 37.1 MMbbls, compared to 13 MMbbls as of July 2013. The increase reflects higher recovery factors than initially estimated due to integrating learnings from analogue carbonate fields of similar oil quality. As the high-quality Bina Bawi oil is in close proximity to export infrastructure, the field represents a potentially attractive near-term development candidate for the Company.

Miran West gross 2C heavy (c.15◦ API) oil resources as of 31 December 2017 are estimated by RPS at 23.7 MMbbls, compared to 52 MMbbls as of April 2013. Volumes have reduced as RPS has adjusted its view on the oil water contact uncertainty range and also adjusted its view on reservoir properties, including data from MW-5 drilled in July 2013.

Because of field experience at Taq Taq, Genel management has taken the view that it is unlikely that any matrix will contribute to primary depletion at Miran and, as such, has taken a more conservative view and will only record 18.5 MMbbls of viable 2C contingent resources at the field.

Gross 2C Contingent Resources oil (MMbbls – RPS)

2013

31 December 2017

Bina Bawi

12.9

37.1

Miran West

52.0

23.7

Appendix

Summary of Contingent Resources – Development unclarified (Gross 100% working interest basis) attributable to the Bina Bawi and Miran West fields as of 31 December 2017.

Gross (100% WI) Contingent Resources

Gross (100% WI) Contingent Resources

Bina Bawi

Oil (MMbbls – RPS)

Miran West

Oil (MMbbls – RPS)

1C

15.2

1C

6.1

2C

37.1

2C

23.7

3C

78.4

3C

67.6

(Source: Genel Energy)

UN launches Iraq Recovery and Resilience Programme

Iraq Business News (en) - Wed, 02/14/2018 - 7:58pm

UN Secretary-General António Guterres launched the Iraq Recovery and Resilience Programme today at the Kuwait International Conference for the Reconstruction of Iraq.

The two-year Recovery and Resilience Programme is designed to fast-track the social dimensions of reconstruction and help ensure that people see tangible improvements in their daily lives at the start of the reconstruction process, rather than waiting years to benefit from large-scale infrastructure projects and structural reforms.

“Iraq surmounted an incredible challenge in its defeat of ISIL, but many challenges still remain,” said the UN Secretary-General António Guterres. “After the last three days in Kuwait, I feel hope for a new Iraq that is open for business and prepared to face the next challenge of rebuilding communities while reconstructing schools, roads, bridges, hospitals and public infrastructure. A prosperous Iraq will be a pillar for development and stability in the region.”

The RRP focuses on urgent priorities – helping people who have suffered the most, revitalizing the areas at the highest risk of return to violence, and advancing broad political participation and inclusive social harmony.

“Reconstruction is not just about rebuilding infrastructure-it’s about improving people’s lives,” said United Nations’ Humanitarian and Resident Coordinator for Iraq Lise Grande.

The RRP includes nine components. Three will be implemented in high priority communities where violent extremism may possibly emerge unless steps are taken to restore community trust, build confidence in the Government and open economic opportunities. Six of the components are national in scope.

These components focus on decentralizing basic services, promoting sustainable returns, providing support to survivors, accelerating community reconciliation and expanding political and social participation.

“Together with community and tribal reconciliation, national political settlement and accord, based on the principle of citizenship with equal rights, obligations, justice and opportunities for all, is critically important for a future stable, united and prosperous Iraq,” said the Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General (SRSG) for Iraq, Ján Kubiš.

The UN is seeking USD 482 million for the first year of the RRP and an additional USD 568 million to help stabilize high-risk areas. Separately, partners are seeking USD 569 million to provide life-saving assistance to 3.4 million highly vulnerable people across Iraq through the 2018 Humanitarian Response Plan.

Download the Iraq Recovery and Resilience Programme here in English, and here in Arabic.

(Source: UN)

Jordanian Ministers push for Truck Entry to Iraq

Iraq Business News (en) - Wed, 02/14/2018 - 7:58pm

By John Lee.

Jordan’s Minister of Municipalities, Walid Al-Masri, and Minister of Industry and Trade, Yarub Al-Qudah, have met representatives of the chambers of industry and commerce and members of the Jordan Truck Owners and Custom Clearance Associations to discuss arrangements for the entry of Jordanian trucks to Iraq.

According to a report from Petra, they agreed to organise the crossing of Jordanian trucks to Iraq with the concerned Jordanian and Iraqi authorities.

(Source: Petra)

Progress To Defeat ISIS Continues

Iraq Business News (en) - Wed, 02/14/2018 - 7:58pm

Significant progress in the fight to defeat the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria has resulted in a shift in focus to sustaining military gains in Iraq to ensure a lasting defeat of Islamic State of Iraq and Syria terrorists, The commander of U.S. Air Forces Central Command told Pentagon reporters today.

An Air Force C-17 Globemaster III transport jet assigned to the 816th Expeditionary Airlift Squadron sits on the ramp at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan, Jan. 24, 2018. The C-17 is capable of rapid strategic delivery of troops and all types of cargo to bases throughout the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt Gregory Brook

Speaking via teleconference from the Combined Air Operations Center at Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar, Air Force Lt. Gen. Jeffrey L. Harrigian said the Feb. 1 standup of a coalition aviation advisory and training team is an example of the transition.

The coalition team of airmen will help the Iraqis build a capable, affordable, professional and sustainable aviation enterprise, he explained. And while the standup of the team does not signal an increase in the U.S.-led coalition’s presence in Iraq, the CAAT will bridge the work toward standing up an air expeditionary wing that will take over that mission, he said.

Preventing ISIS Resurgence

The coalition’s train, advise and assist efforts to build a lasting Iraqi aviation enterprise will not be tied to a timeline, but instead will be conditions-based, proportional to the needs, and in coordination with partners in the Iraq government, Harrigian said.

“As we transition our focus in [Operation Inherent Resolve] to sustain our military gains, let me be clear that we will retain the necessary amount of air power to prevent a resurgence of ISIS,” he emphasized.

Harrigian said the progress to defeat ISIS has allowed the United States to realign some of its deployed combat air power and personnel to Afghanistan, including A-10 Thunderbolt II aircraft, MQ-9 Reaper unmanned aircraft and HH-60 Pave Hawk helicopters.

“These aircraft will provide increased air support to the South Asia strategy, as well as ongoing counterterrorism efforts in Afghan-led operations,” the commander said. “This plus-up in air power is also producing tangible results as part of a deliberate air campaign that we kicked off in late November to decimate the Taliban’s primary revenue source — narcotics production.”

Goal: Choke Off Taliban

The goal is to choke off the Taliban’s ability to pay for its deadly attacks, such as those in Kabul recently, he noted.

Harrigian said the campaign to stop the Taliban’s resource flow will take time and that it will not align with the traditional fighting season in Afghanistan.

“Instead, [the campaign] will be relentless and persistent, as demonstrated by the 321 precision munitions we released this January against Taliban targets in the dead of winter, a time they typically rest and recuperate,” he said.

Such pressure will persist until the Taliban reconcile or die, Harrigian said. “We are already seeing positive reflections from our intelligence that the Taliban are not enjoying their typical winter break.”

(Source: US Dept of Defense)

Video: Donors pledge more than $300m to Iraq

Iraq Business News (en) - Wed, 02/14/2018 - 3:27am

From Al Jazeera. Any opinions expressed are those of the authors, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

Iraq is hoping for more concrete pledges from international donors on the second day of a conference on rebuilding cities and infrastructure shattered by the conflict with ISIL (the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, also known as ISIS).

On Monday, non-governmental organisations pledged more than $300 million to the reconstruction effort, far short of the $100 billion the government says it needs.

Al Jazeera‘s Sami Zeidan reports from Kuwait:

UXO Clearance leads way to Normal Future

Iraq Business News (en) - Wed, 02/14/2018 - 3:27am

UNMAS Iraq ‘Clearance Mission’ Seen as ‘Tipping Point’ Between Past Conflict and a Normal Future

Lives and livelihoods in Iraq’s liberated areas are being restored at long last.

In Fallujah, as many as 1,800 vehicles and 100 pedestrians per hour can cross the re-opened ‘new bridge’ linking Baghdad with Al-Anbar Province. The fibre optic cable connecting more than 3,000 customers with Baghdad has been restored. The Jadidah fuel station, which had been closed for three years, now pumps an average of more than 31,000 litres for 300 vehicles per day.

In Mosul, the Al Qaysoor Water Treatment Plant has resumed providing clean and safe water to more than 300,000 customers across 34 service areas. The High Court can access deeds to validate land claims of residents returning to Ninewa Province. Valuable medical equipment, removed for safekeeping, awaits rehabilitation of a hospital in Mosul.

None of this progress would have been possible without infrastructure first being cleared of the explosive threats posed by debris of past conflicts and devices left by retreating ISIL forces, thus allowing the Government of Iraq, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and the International Community to carry out the necessary rehabilitation work.

“We had almost lost all hope,” said Mr. Ali, manager of the Jadidah fuel station, speaking for its 20 employees. “We expected that the station would be blown up,” and it might well have been. United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS)-directed teams safely removed 34 improvised explosive devices (IEDs) weighing a total of 435 kg from the station premises. “You (UNMAS) gave us our jobs back,” he said.

“We eliminate threats along roads, under bridges, from power and water plants, from schools, from critical infrastructure, so that those displaced by conflict can return to their homes, begin again to work, to educate their children, to contribute to society, to live a normal life,” said Pehr Lodhammar, UNMAS Senior Programme Manager, prior to the Kuwait International Conference for the Reconstruction of Iraq.

Lodhammar says conference outcomes will help UNMAS to set priorities working in collaboration with the Government and other agencies supporting Iraq’s reconstruction. All infrastructure is important, but the sequencing of clearance missions itself is complex and the UNMAS top priority, Lodhammar says. “What comes first on our list in turn affects all other rehabilitation and reconstruction efforts ‘downstream’,” he says. “So, we always begin with a joint-assessment to establish our priorities.”

He cites the current UNMAS work to clear Fallujah’s power grid serving two areas outside of the city. As of December 2017, UNMAS-directed teams had searched nearly 34 km² along power lines and cleared 580 explosive devices. When the UNMAS work finishes, repair crews can begin restoring power to as many as 60,000 people and seven schools.

UNMAS-directed partners working at the community level, village level, even the ‘well level’ make a difference on a daily basis, Lodhammar says.

In Al Bokald, villagers spoke of the ground as their enemy. “We could not walk for fear that something would explode in our faces,” said one. Today, with explosive devices cleared, 20 families again have access to a well and water for their own needs and to grow their crops.

The story confirms for Lodhammar the need, primacy and urgency of the clearance mission as shared by all agencies engaged in Iraq’s reconstruction. “We have to do our job, safely, quickly and well so others can do theirs.”

In 2018, the mine action sector requires 216 million USD to respond to the rehabilitation efforts of retaken areas and critical needs in access to basic and municipal services, education and health of returning civilians. In the Reconstruction and Development Framework (RDF) presented at the Kuwait Conference, the Government of Iraq will prioritize the clearance of explosive hazards to enable the reconstruction of Iraq and support of accountable governance, reconciliation and peace building, social and human development and economic development.

(Source: UNAMI)

US Firm wins $45m Iraq Training Deal

Iraq Business News (en) - Tue, 02/13/2018 - 3:52am

By John Lee.

Spartan Air Academy Iraq LLC., Addison, Texas, has been awarded a $45,000,000 firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for the stand-up of an Air Academy training in support of the Iraq Air Force.

Work will be performed at Balad Air Base, Iraq, and is expected to be complete by Feb. 8, 2019.

This award is the result of a country-directed sole-source acquisition.

(Source: US Dept of Defense)

Asiacell Revenues Up

Iraq Business News (en) - Tue, 02/13/2018 - 3:51am

By John Lee.

Qatar-based Ooredoo has announced that revenue at its Asiacell subsidiary in Iraq increased 6 percent to QAR 4.5 billion, while and EBITDA increased 3 percent to QAR 2.0 billion, for the year ended 31th December 2017.

EBITDA margin was put at 44 percent.

In a statement, the company said:

A key opportunity in 2017 was restoring our network sites in the liberated areas and helping customers living there to reconnect to our services.

“As a result, Asiacell increased customer numbers by 8% to reach almost 13 million as network recovery advanced in the liberated areas in the north and west of the country.

(Source: Ooredoo)

Video: Iraq seeks $100bn for Post-IS Reconstruction

Iraq Business News (en) - Mon, 02/12/2018 - 6:43pm

From Al Jazeera. Any opinions expressed are those of the authors, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

Iraq is hoping to raise billions of dollars at a donor conference starting on Monday in Kuwait – to finance the reconstruction after its campaign against ISIL (the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, also known as ISIS).

It is estimated that $100bn is needed for the reconstruction.

Large parts of Iraq’s second-largest city, Mosul, are still in ruins, more than six months after it was retaken by the government.

Al Jazeera’s Sami Zeidan reports from Kuwait:

Oil Exports Fall Slightly in January

Iraq Business News (en) - Mon, 02/12/2018 - 6:43pm

By John Lee.

Iraq’s Ministry of Oil has announced preliminary oil exports for January of 108,190,068 barrels, giving an average for the month of 3.490 million barrels per day (bpd), a slight decrease from the 3.535 bpd exported in December.

The exports were entirely from the southern terminals, with no exports from Kirkuk via Ceyhan.

Revenues for the month were  $6.847 billion at an average price of $63.288 per barrel.

December export figures can be found here.

(Source: Ministry of Oil)

Iraqi Stock Market Continues to Climb

Iraq Business News (en) - Mon, 02/12/2018 - 6:43pm

Advertising Feature

Rabee Securities Iraq Stock Exchange (ISX) market report (week ending: 8th Feb 2018).

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

The RSISX index ended the week at IQD926 (+5.7%) / $966 (+5.9%) (weekly change) (+14.2% and +15.5% YTD change, respectively). The number of week traded shares was 11.3bn and the weekly trading volume was IQD8.6bn ($6.9mn).

ISX Company Announcements

  • According to the letter (dated Jan. 29, 2018) sent to Al-Rafidain Bank, Al-Rasheed Bank, and Trade Bank of Iraq (TBI) related with treasury bonds regulations and payments to contractors for 2018, Central Bank of Iraq (CBI) will pay the past due payments to contractors on behalf of the Ministry of Finance (MoF) after the completion of the auditing by the Federal Board of Supreme Audit. In the letter it was mentioned that the bond’s annual interest will be 5% with a maturity of three years. The Ministry of Planning will prepare the list of names and contractors and the amounts due to them and send it to the MoF. The role of the CBI is to deliver the bonds to the contractors according to the required payments. (CBI)
  • The Anti-Money Laundering (AML / CFT) Council announces the preparation and issuance of the National Strategy for Combating Money Laundering and the Financing of Terrorism for the years 2017-2020 according to the international requirements, which is the first strategy in Iraq in this regard. (CBI)
  • Regarding the request of ISC from Economy Bank for Investment (BEFI) on Dec. 14, 2017 to clarify unclear items in 2016 annual financial results since their earlier clarifications weren’t clear and financial statements do not represent the current financial position of the bank, ISC mentioned that the bank replied that these cases will be amended in 2017 annual financial results. ISC declared that the problems remain unsolved and the report is unclear and thus the BEFI will remain suspended from trading until these issues will be resolved.
  • According to Bada’a Al-Karada court decision on Aug. 28, 2017, ISX will auction starting March 6, 2018 North Bank (BNOR) shares amounted 4.8 bn owned by Omer Mohammed Ahmed Al-Jaff for payment of IQD2.3 bn debt to Al-Mansour Bank (BMNS).
  • Iraq Noor Islamic Bank for Investment (BINI) will hold a GA on Feb. 22, 2018 to elect a new BoD. ISX will suspend trading of BINI starting Feb. 19, 2018. BINI will resume trading on Feb.25, 2018.
  • Metallic & Bicycles Industries (IMIB) disclosed signing investment contracts with the Chinese Company for Motorcycles Production and the British Himalaya Enterprise.

Kuwait Energy signs Block 9 Farm-out Agreement

Iraq Business News (en) - Mon, 02/12/2018 - 6:43pm

Kuwait Energy Signs Block 9, Iraq Farm-out Agreement with Dragon Oil

Kuwait Energy (KEC) has announced the signing of the Block 9, Iraq Farm-out Agreement with Dragon Oil (a wholly-owned subsidiary of Emirates National Oil Company Ltd, the national oil company of Dubai).

As per the Farm-out Agreement, Kuwait Energy will assign a 15% participating interest in the Block 9, Iraq service contract comprised of 8.57% participating interest in Block 9, Iraq to Dragon Oil in consideration for US$100 million in cash; and 6.43% participating interest in Block 9, Iraq to Dragon Oil in settlement of a dispute with Dragon Oil in relation to a non-controlling interest in Block 9, Iraq.

The agreement was signed on 11 February 2018 by Ali Rashid al Jarwan, Dragon Oil Chief Executive Officer (CEO); and Abby Badwi, the CEO of Kuwait Energy.

Abby Badawi (pictured), Chief Executive Officer of Kuwait Energy, said:

This is a great moment for Kuwait Energy and Dragon Oil. The extension of our Block 9 partnership with Dragon Oil has meant that both Companies can work as equal equity partners on the concession allowing us to best utilise our joint technical expertise in delivering the submission of the Block 9 full field development plan to the Iraqi government.

“The reduction in future Block 9 capital expenditure exposure coupled with the material cash injection strengthens Kuwait Energy liquidity position going forward.

The assignment of the 15% participating interest in Block 9, Iraq from Kuwait Energy to Dragon Oil remains subject to Iraqi government and partner approval. Post granting of these approvals, Kuwait Energy will remain the operator with a reduction in participating interest from 60% to 45%,

Dragon Oil participating interest will increase from 30% to 45% with the remaining 10% participating interest being held by Egyptian General Petroleum Company.

(Source: Kuwait Energy)

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