Ahmad Mousa- Twitter



VIDEO: With ululations and white flags, residents welcoming Iraqi forces in the liberated neighbourhoods


Iraq, torn by war and strife, is slowly drawing the notice of investors


Saturday, 26 Nov 2016 | 5:00 PM ET


COMMENTSJoin the Discussion

Flames emerge from a pipeline at the oil fields in Basra, southeast of Baghdad, Iraq, October 14, 2016.

Essam Al-Sudani | Reuters
Flames emerge from a pipeline at the oil fields in Basra, southeast of Baghdad, Iraq, October 14, 2016.

One of the most unstable countries in the world also happens to have the distinction of being one of the fastest growing economies in the world.

Believe it or not, Iraq — riven as it is by terrorist insurgency and civil strife — is expected to grow by a sizzling 7.2 percent this year, according to World Bank data. It recovered from a brutal 9 percent contraction in 2015 and is outpacing the Middle East’s average economic growth of 3 percent. And while it may seem unthinkable for now, investors say Iraq could eventually be positioned to become a magnet for investor capital — and it may arrive sooner than many people think.

For now, the country remains in the throes of a major offensive to root out ISIS extremists that have laid siege to entire swaths of Iraq. However, analysts point to structural factors bolstering the battered OPEC nation’s recovery — including a recovery in the bear market for oil.

Given that its peers in the Gulf (Saudi Arabia, for example) relied too heavily on triple-digit oil prices to support their domestic budgets, Iraq appears poised to navigate cheaper oil prices better than others in the region, even as it recently obtained a $5.4 billion International Monetary Fund loan to boost stability.

“Oil at $30 was devastating for a growing country like Iraq, especially coming down from above $100,” Shwan Taha, founder of Rabee Securities, a brokerage headquartered in Baghdad told CNBC recently.

At current levels under $50, however, “it is a good price to give a breather and also not to cause the population to be dependent on it,” Taha added. “The economy has to work to grow.”

Phototreat | iStock/360 | Getty Images

“Although Iraq has the natural resources to meet some of the criteria for emerging market status, on others it is still quite far away. We think it could take a decade or more before this would become a real discussion.”-Alan Cameron, economist, Exotix Partners

The IMF package can be seen as a badge of credibility that somewhat elevates Iraq from pariah status in the eyes of investors, some say, and comes at a time when the country’s fundamentals are showing resilience.

“Fiscal consolidation, including a freeze in nominal spending, has been delivered and oil exports from the South have surprised on the upside,” said Stuart Culverhouse, head of research at Exotix Partners, a London-based investment firm that specializes in emerging markets.

Exotix has been advising clients to buy Iraq’s bonds, which have been rallying for much of the year to levels not seen in more than a year, when oil was priced above $65 per barrel. A number of blue chip wealth managers, hedge funds and smaller investors have been buyers.

In addition, Iraq’s debt is likely to fall below 79 percent of gross domestic product this year, according to Exotix, while payment delays to international oil companies have been shortened from 220 days to 120 — and may fall further.

Still a ways off

Meanwhile, the “Trump rally” that has carried the U.S. dollar to 13-year highs is a source for concern because emerging markets may be forced to pay higher debt costs with weaker currencies. Since President-elect Donald Trump was swept to power earlier this month, the dollar has been on a tear against nearly all major and emerging market currencies.

“The election of Donald Trump is a double-edged sword for Iraq, in our view,” said Alan Cameron, London-based economist with Exotix Partners. “On the other hand, if American involvement in foreign conflict and support for allies in the Middle East diminishes, then the fights against ISIS may be compromised, which would be very negative for Iraq.”

Iraq, when looking at oil reserves, capacity, its fertile land and agricultural potential, should be ripe for investment and development but the realization of this remains a ways off.

“Although Iraq has the natural resources to meet some of the criteria for emerging market status, on others it is still quite far away. We think it could take a decade or more before this would become a real discussion,” Cameron said.

Iraq is indeed an opportunity, analysts say, but for the moment investors are still scared off by headlines about bombs, ISIS and bloodshed.

“We are currently not seeing any real buying while there is so much turmoil going on inside the country,” said David Grayson, co-founder and CEO of Auerbach Grayson, a New York City–based international brokerage firm. “Companies that will do well when things become normalized are the banks, and any company that will benefit from the rebuilding plus consumer goods,” he added.

Although lower oil prices have depressed the oil-dependent economies, Grayson explained that low oil has not necessarily dampened investor interest in the region. “We still see many of our institutional investors seeing value oriented companies in non-oil related sectors,” he said. “In particular, if Saudi Arabia finally opens up to foreign investment without restriction, you will see a lot of buying there.”



Federal police: the killing of five leaders of the “Daesh” including Chechens


Khandan – Federal police announced on Sunday, killing five of theleaders of the organization “Daesh” terrorist , including Chechens.

He said the federal police captain Raed Shakir Jawdat said in astatement, the federal police killed five of the leaders of “Daesh” following a missile attack targeted their headquarters in the hills of thevillage (Abu Seif) overlooking the Mosul airport.

He said the federal police chief said the dead included leading Chechen nationality.

The leadership of the operations ” are coming Aaninoy” said in astatement, said the Army Aviation and assigning Joey federal police face air strikes that killed 54 terrorists and destroyed two wheels and handle bombs 5 wheels , one carrying Rchash unilateralism in theregion (fishery) within the southern axis


The Baghdad government suggest disabling official working in circles next Tuesday



Since 11/27/2016 18:36 pm (Baghdad time)


Special – balances News

He favored the Baghdad Provincial Council member Saad logistical, Sunday, proclamation by the General Secretariat of the Council of Ministers Tuesday, a public holiday on the occasion of the death of the Great Prophet Muhammad (p).

He’s logistical / balances News / “The House of Baghdad is not friendly to the powers to declare a holiday in Baghdad. It is the prerogative of the Council of Ministers.”

He added that “the news agency almost certain we received about the intention of the General Secretariat of the Council of Ministers declared a holiday commemorating the death of the Great Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him.”

Both of Basra, Wasit, Diwaniyah, announced today a public holiday to mark the death of the Prophet Aloazm.anthy 29/33 h


Iraq receives four billion dinars as a loan from the World Bank next month



Since 11.27.2016 at 10:07 (Baghdad time)

Special scales News

Economic Adviser to the Prime Minister revealed the appearance of Mohammed Saleh, Sunday, that Iraq will receive four billion dinars as a loan from the World Bank, the start of the month of December next.

Saleh said, L / balance News /, that “Iraq will receive four billion dinars as a loan from the World Bank loans of the seven major industrialized nations and the European Union, the start of December next.”

He said economic adviser, said: “The loan is allocated to support the general state budget for the purposes of investment projects, which include support for various projects, including vital infrastructure destroyed and the rehabilitation and reconstruction of the affected areas,” .anthy 29 / A 43 areas


The imposition of tariffs on Jordanian goods



Jordan Chamber of Industry revealed that the Iraqi government decided to meet customs fees on goods up to 30%.

The director of the Amman Chamber of Industry Nael Housami, in an interview, “that the room received complaints from industrialists the end of last week, according to the fulfillment of the Iraqi government tariffs on all Jordanian goods entering their markets,” stressing that “the continuation of this action will lead to the market closes Iraqi front of Jordanian products fully”.

He explained that “the Iraqi government stopped issuing permits to prove that imported goods produced in Jordan, for circulation to the customs centers for the purposes of exemption from customs duties, according to the signed agreements between the two countries”.

Housami He pointed out that “the room and addressed the Ministry of Industry and Trade and Supply to communicate with the Iraqi side in this regard,” noting that “the Iraqi embassy in Amman promised follow-up to resolve the issue.



Barzani meets Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and attend events for Formula 1 race


History of edits:: 11/27/2016 21:58110 visits readable
[Oan- Baghdad]
met the President of Kurdistan , Massoud Barzani, in his visit to the United Arab Emirates Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces in Abu Dhabi, Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
The two sides discussed , according to the official WAM news agency [WAM] “brotherhood and cooperation that bind the province of the United Arab Emirates and mutual keenness on enhancing them to achieve and serve the common interests relations.”
It was also during the two meetings dealt with the overall issues of common interest that concern the UAE and the Kurdistan region.
and was attended by the region ‘s president during the visit , the activities of the Union Grand Prix race Airways Formula 1 at Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi.
it was Barzani arrived last Friday to the UAE in the several – day visit at the official invitation.

Islamic State gone, Mosul district residents adjust to new life

Two men hold hands as an Iraqi Special forces intelligence team searches for Islamic State fighters in Mosul, Iraq November 27, 2016.  REUTERS/Goran Tomasevic


Until three weeks ago, many of Abu Osama’s customers were Islamic State militants who brought their wives and children to his pharmacy on the eastern edge of Mosul for injections and treatment.

Now, most of them are Iraqi security forces who recaptured the Gogjali neighborhood earlier this month and are pushing further into the city, which has been under Islamic State control for more than two years.

As the militants retreat, civilians are adjusting to a new reality in their wake and a clearer picture is emerging of what they did to survive the punishments and deprivation of Islamic State rule.

“Whether Daesh (Islamic State) or army: my door is open to everyone,” said Abu Osama, taking the blood pressure of an Iraqi policeman. “If my worst enemy comes here, I must treat him.”

Several Islamic State militants, both local and foreign, lived in Gogjali and it was mainly their families that visited the pharmacy because the militants themselves were often away, Abu Osama said.

The front of his shop and those next door are marked with the Arabic letter “z” for zakat, meaning alms, and beside it an identification number Islamic State bureaucrats assigned to record donations made at the shop for their self-proclaimed caliphate.

Advancing Iraqi forces have sprayed Shi’ite slogans over it.

The 40-year old opened the pharmacy after Mosul fell to Islamic State and the salary he received as an employee of the Iraqi health ministry was cut by the government as it sought to choke off funding to the militants, who were skimming the pay of public sector workers in areas they controlled.

The militants wanted Abu Osama to work for them in a hospital, but he refused because it would have meant pledging allegiance to the group, and he does not agree with their hardline ideology.

According to that ideology, the depiction of living creatures is un-Islamic because it can lead to idolatry. After a militant upbraided him for displaying a poster with an image of a baby on the wall of his pharmacy, Abu Osama blotted out its eyes with a black marker pen and then did the same to every label featuring a human being.

The 500 dinar note ($0.40), which bears an image of a statue, was banned for the same reason, according to several civilians.


All medicine came from Syria — Mosul’s only outlet to the world as an array of forces slowly closed in on the city in Iraq. Syrian traders imported cheap Chinese and Indian medicine via Turkey and paid Islamic State a tax to bring it to market in Mosul, Abu Osama said.

By the time medicine reached his still sparsely stocked shelves, the price had tripled, and many of his customers could not afford to buy it, so he sold it to them on credit and is now owed 1.25 million Iraq dinars ($1,016).

Since women were obliged by Islamic State to veil their faces completely, Abu Osama cannot be sure who owes him what, he said.

Standing in the pharmacy, forty-three-year old Sohaib commented that if he became separated from his wife in a crowded marketplace, she would have to find him, as he could not distinguish her from all the other women shrouded from head to toe in black.

Abu Osama could treat women only when they were accompanied by a male relative, and if a female patient lifted her veil before him and Islamic State’s vice squad found out, he would be held accountable. It never happened to him, but the militants punish such infractions with fines and whipping.

Residents of Gogjali said Islamic State’s laws were less strictly enforced there because it is far from the city center.

When Iraqi special forces took the neighborhood, two of the militants left their wives behind, locals said, identifying the women as Russian. The jihadi brides tried to flee Mosul among displaced civilians but were found out and detained by Iraqi security forces, according to a soldier sitting in the pharmacy.

“They were unbelievably beautiful,” he said.

Several doors down, twenty-seven year old Ammar, who runs a grocery shop, said the militants were his best customers because they had more money than anyone else.

“They chatted with us and said we must fight jihad. Everyone preached to us, but each to their own,” he said.

All the goods he sold came from Syria, he said, but now that route is blocked too, and several traders from the nearby Kurdish region are taking advantage of the opening in the market.

Outside the grocery shop, a Kurdish trader unloaded goods from a van, including items banned by Islamic State such as cigarettes, biscuits made in Iran and Brazilian canned meat.

“It says halal on the tin, but they said it wasn’t,” Ammar said, shrugging.

Occasionally, the sound of a mortar or a burst of gunfire sends people milling in the street scattering and diving for cover, but some, now accustomed to the sounds of war, barely flinch and continue as normal.

(Editing by Patrick Markey and Peter Graff)


Parliament will vote tomorrow on the 2017 budget law

Baghdad balances NewsIraqi Council of Representatives included a vote on the draft general budget of the Federal Republic of Iraq for fiscal year 2017 on Monday session agenda .

And a statement of the presidium of the parliament said that ” the meeting agenda of business on Monday also includes voting in principle to the first draft amendment to the law of the amnesty law No. (27) for the year 2016 .

The statement added that ” The Council also will vote on the candidates of the investigative committee regarding the review of all leases and investment of the marshes and waters .”

And will witness the meeting , ” a report of the Legal Committee on the work of the election commission and the number of board members and district and provincial elections and the elections , the House of Representatives and the report and discuss the draft Iraqi Commission for the adoption of a law, and the continuing debate on the draft Commercial Agency Regulatory Act, and report and discuss the proposed law to the board of Media and Communications .”

The House of Representatives had voted at its meeting on Saturday, in the form of the popular crowd Act, which the Council approved the law by a majority of the crowd 208 MPs from different blocs, a move resented by Sunni leaders .


Abadi: Budget adopted to reduce government spending to its lowest level to cover salaries

History of edits:: 11/27/2016 20:39 

{Baghdad: Euphrates News} held the Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, on Sunday, a meeting of the parliamentary Finance Committee in the presence of officials from the Ministry of Finance, saying that “the budget adopted to reduce government spending to its lowest level to cover the salaries.”
A statement by the Office of the Abadi received by the agency {Euphrates News} a copy of it today , “were discussed during the meeting put the finishing touches on the financial budget law for 2017 for a vote as soon as possible, in addition to the financial situation taking place in the country as a result of lower oil prices.” 

Said Abadi , according to the statement ” the importance of approving the budget , which was adopted to reduce government spending to its lowest level and to cover the salaries of employees and retirees as well as entitlements necessary task of the sectors that contribute to development and job creation.” End quote