IBBC hosts largest ever Spring Conference

The Iraq Britain Business Council (IBBC) hosted the largest attendance for their Spring conference at the Mansion house on 24th May, with just under 300 attendees, half of whom came from Iraq.

Widely considered a success, the overall theme was 'sustaining economic growth in Iraq', There were multiple panels and roundtable sessions; including four panels focused on Finance and Energy, and additional themes of Education and Skills, Future Tech, Privatisation and a Kurdish ministerial roundtable with full attendance at all.

The conference was opened by Baroness Nicholson, president of IBBC.

Notable speakers included the Governor of the central bank H.E Mr. Mustafa Ghalib Mukheef, the Governor of Kirkuk, H.E. Mr Rakan Aljoubouri, the Chairman of the Trade Bank of Iraq, Dr Salem Chalabi and H.E. Dr Dara Rasheed, Minister of Planning, Kurdish Regional Government, and Mr Louis Taylor, CEO of UKEF, while Lord Howell gave an insightful and powerful speech on energy provision and the continuing importance of oil and gas distribution and production, especially in the light of Russian aggression. Professor Frank Gunter offered his paper for privatisation to a packed room. Dr Luay Al Khateeb, Distinguished Fellow Columbia University, chaired the Energy Transition session alongside with panellist from BP, Shell, GE and Oilserv.

The Rasmi AL Jabri award to the most outstanding, well run, professional Iraqi company engaged with the UK and international business from Iraq, was awarded to The Sardar Group and accepted by Mr Sardar Al Bebany from Rasmi's son and Baroness Nicholson.

Delegates came from all regions of Iraq, including KRI, Basra and Baghdad, with chambers of commerce, leading Iraqi businesses, and private investors and business- people engaged and supplying IBBC corporate members.

Principal sponsors included the Iraq private banking league, who brought 20 banking members, gold sponsors - The Sardar Group and Hydro C and Bronze sponsors - GE.

The Conference was also made available online and a recording of the Tech forum is available here.

(Source: IBBC)

The post IBBC hosts largest ever Spring Conference first appeared on Iraq Business News.

Meet Top Iraqi Officials at IBBC Conference

Hear Iraq's principal ministers and financiers share their vision and policies for Energy, Finance and Educational sectors at IBBC's Mansion House conference on 24th May.

Iraq is on the cusp of forming a new Government and is benefitting from high oil revenues and stability. The IBBC Spring conference is ideally timed for a potential new Government announcement with key players in both oil and finance speaking and sharing their vision of what policies and the future landscape lies in store for Iraq and the private sector.

Iraq is clearly open for business, and we can expect to hear strong indicators of where the economy and investment will be directed and how banks and government expect to achieve this.

Addressing the new government agenda of reforms, we have a panel dedicated to the Iraqi Government White paper, led by Dr Alaa, the executive director or the Prime Minister's reform unit.

It is also expected that the Minister of Oil will announce several investment opportunities that will be discussed in a separate session after the energy panel during the afternoon

This is your opportunity to meet these confirmed speakers: the Minister of Oil H.E. Ihsan Abdul Jabbar Ismaael, the Governor of the Central Bank of Iraq, H.E Mr. Mustafa Ghalib Mukheef, Ms Taif Sami, Deputy Minister of finance, the Minister of youth and sport H.E. Adnan Darjal Motar Al-Rubaye, and higher education, as well as a Dr Salem Chalabi, President & Chairman of the Trade Bank of Iraq and a delegation of Iraqi private banks. In addition, key IBBC members including BP country director Zaid Elysari, Shell, Total, GE, Siemens, KBR, SKA, Serco, Petronor and Petrofac, PWC, EY, Standard Chartered Bank, JP Morgan, TBI, SAP, Barclays, City and Guilds among many, and from the UK Government Mr Louis Taylor, director of UKEF are attending.

The overall theme will examine how Iraq can sustain economic growth going forward, through the significant speaker energy, finance and Insurance panels who will discuss this at length.

New topics include privatisation of state-owned enterprises at a round table discussion led by Prof. Frank Gunter with the participation of the Prime Minister's Office, additionally, a special paper on the subject written by members of the IBBC Advisory Council will be launched on the day and form the backdrop of the discussion.

Panels on project finance and energy transition are included during the day.

Beyond these topics many companies will find ample opportunity to meet the key speakers, as well as network with large businesses in Iraq and UK during the conference and in separate sessions. IBBC constantly advocates for the opportunity of private business to change economies and this conference confirms the benefits business brings to Iraq.

Economic sustainability is not just confined to energy and finance sectors as the knock-on effect of an expanding economy is creating big demand for skilled employees across all sectors, an issue that will be addressed by the educational panel including MSelect, who's Iraq employment report has shed great light on the unprecedented nature of skills and sectoral requirements and how they might be addressed.

IBBC are very proud to be holding, possibly our best conference and we hope those companies' operating in Iraq and considering joining our council, will attend at this time of opportunity and evolution for Iraq's economy to meet the people who are shaping its future.

Click here to register.

(Source: IBBC)

The post Meet Top Iraqi Officials at IBBC Conference first appeared on Iraq Business News.

Iraq’s Economic Update — April 2022

Iraq's economy is gradually recovering from the twin shocks of the pandemic and collapse in oil prices in 2020. Both oil and non-oil growth are on track to reach their pre-pandemic levels as oil production increases and the easing of COVID-19 restrictions restores domestic economic activity.

Fiscal and external deficits are back to surpluses as oil prices continue to surge. Growth in the medium term is projected to be driven by the oil sector as OPEC+ production cuts are phased out. The outlook remains subject to significant risks including uncertainties relating to the impact of geopolitical tensions, the ongoing pandemic, security challenges, and climate change.

Recent Developments

Iraq's economy is gradually rebounding following the deep economic strains of the COVID-19 pandemic. Real GDP is estimated to have edged up by 1.3% in 2021, after a sharp contraction of 11.3% in 2020. The rebound was mainly driven by the non-oil sector which grew by 6% in 9 months of 2021-2021 year-on-year (y/y), underpinned by a strong performance of the high contact sectors including transport, accommodation, and retail sectors.

However, agriculture and construction contracted by 17.5% and 36.8% respectively, following severe droughts, energy outages, and the rising global price of inputs. In 9M-2021, oil GDP contracted by 4%(y/y) as Iraq adjusted its oil production as per the OPEC+ agreement. Headline and core inflation edged up to an average of 6% and 6.6%(y/y) in 2021, respectively, following the 23% devaluation in December of 2020 and the gradual recovery in domestic demand.

Outlook

The turnaround in oil markets has significantly improved Iraq's economic outlook in the medium term. Overall growth in 2022 is now forecast at 8.9% as OPEC+ quotas end and Iraq's production surpasses its pre-pandemic level of 4.6 mbpd. Growth in the outer years is projected to remain modest at 3.7% on average as oil production moderates.

Non-oil GDP growth is projected to converge to its long-term potential growth trend in part aided by higher investments that would be financed through the oil windfall. However, growth is forecast to remain constrained by the economy's limited absorptive capacity and other inefficiencies.

Click here to download the full report.

(Source: World Bank)

The post Iraq's Economic Update -- April 2022 first appeared on Iraq Business News.

IBBC Iraq Conference, London, Tuesday 24th May 

The IBBC Iraq conference at the Mansion House - meeting at a most important time for Iraq - Tuesday 24 May 

After a two-year absence, IBBC is back at the Mansion House hosting its Iraq conference on Tuesday May 24th focusing on finance, energy and sustaining economic growth in Iraq.

The country stands at another pivotal moment with a new government still in formation, record high oil and gas prices and a world supply crisis, in recovery mode after the pandemic and a strong desire to diversify the economy, grow the private sector and improve employment prospects, particularly for the young, a possible Iranian / US nuclear settlement, issues over water supply and food production, diversifying into renewable energy  and still much work to be done on repairing and renewing infrastructure, but progress being made on improving governance and hugely enhanced government revenue to provide business opportunities across all the sectors.

International interest in investing in Iraq remains strong with the Chinese (Rumaila) and French (Total) Governments being particularly aggressive and most recently a wish expressed by the Saudi Government to join them.

In each sector we are hosting influential Iraqi ministerial attendees including the Minister of Oil H.E. Ihsan Abdul Jabbar Ismaael and Mr Kareem Hatta Deputy Oil Minister for Upstream Affairs, the Governor of the Central Bank of Iraq, H.E Mr. Mustafa Ghalib Mukheef, the Minister of Youth and Sport H.E. Adnan Darjal Motar Al-Rubaye, as well as Ms Taif Al-Shakarchi, Deputy Minister of Finance , Dr Salem Chalabi, President & Chairman of the Trade Bank of Iraq, a delegation of Iraqi Private banks.

From the UK side Louis Taylor, Chief Executive of UKEF, UK Ambassador Mark Bryson- Richardson, BP President Iraq Zaid Elyaseri, and Richard Wilkins from JP Morgan will address the audience with latest developments and opportunities and Professor Frank Gunter will present his latest views on the political economy.

Principal panel subjects include developing the banking sector, project finance, energy transition and how to boost short term production, education and skills, insurance, in addition to an online Tech panel addressing the benefits of crypto currency.

For companies interested in Iraq, this is a prime opportunity to hear what some of the most important players, both government and private sector are saying and thinking, and an excellent place for networking with potential partners and customers from both national and international organisations.

For further information and to register - please follow the link below:

IBBC Spring Conference at the Mansion House, London - IBBC (iraqbritainbusiness.org)

A reminder to overseas attendees, to arrange for visas to UK within the next few days as is relevant for your country.

(Source: Iraq Britain Business Council)

The post IBBC Iraq Conference, London, Tuesday 24th May  first appeared on Iraq Business News.

Iraqi Central Bank may Stop Financial Dealings with Russia

By Layal Shakir, for Rudaw. Any opinions expressed are those of the author(s), and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

Iraqi central bank suggests halting business, financial dealings with Russia

The Central Bank of Iraq (CBI) on Wednesday suggested halting business operations and financial dealings with Russia following America's far-reaching sanctions as the Russian invasion of Ukraine continues for the seventh day.

Click here to read the full article.

The post Iraqi Central Bank may Stop Financial Dealings with Russia first appeared on Iraq Business News.

KRG PM meets President of the Iraq Britain Business Council

The Prime Minister of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), Masrour Barzani, on Saturday met Baroness Emma Nicholson, President of the Iraq Britain Business Council (IBBC).

Prime Minister Barzani highlighted the reforms of the ninth cabinet, its bid to diversify the economy and crucially to make the Kurdistan Region a focal point for business.

Baroness Nicholson gave a briefing on the council's work, especially its last conference which was held in Dubai and which concentrated on developing UK, Iraq, and Kurdistan Region trade relations.

(Source: KRG)

The post KRG PM meets President of the Iraq Britain Business Council first appeared on Iraq Business News.

IBBC Dubai Autumn Conference fields Top Speakers in All Sectors

As a measure of confidence in the global and Iraqi economy, the Iraq Britain Business Council (IBBC) is seeing a marked upswing in quality and quantity of speakers at the Autumn Conference at the Address hotel, Dubai 22nd November.

The topic, in line with COP26 and the new energy horizon, is one of sustainability. Not only is this a key question for the oil and gas sector in Iraq, but also for the diversification of the economy and sustainable finances and industrial sectors within the country. With the hope of formation of a new government and stronger oil prices and government revenues, this could be described as a critical juncture in the evolution of Iraq.

Will the Government make the bold reform steps its people require? Can the economy diversify and enable the private sector to flourish? How will Iraq reform its energy sector and inflect towards renewable power, and develop its agricultural intentions at a time of water scarcity? How best to train and employ the many young people in the short term and how can the digital transformation of Iraq be delivered.

The Oil Minister H.E Ihsan Abdul Jabbar Ismaael intends to attend, along with Dr Salem Chalabi President of TBI, the Iraqi Ambassador to UAE, the British Ambassador to Iraq, and HM Consul General to Middle East. There is a very strong showing among IBBC members, leading IOC's including BP, TotalEnergies, and Basra Gas Company, and major suppliers to the Energy Sector such as Hydro-C and Oilserv and the ability to meet their CEO's at the event.

Professor Frank Gunter will give his insightful analysis of the economic outlook for Iraq and the steps to reform it must take to create a sustainable economy.

Finance too is fielding heavyweight speakers from IFC, Standard Chartered, Sardar Group (Principal Sponsors), Emirates credit insurance and a representative Director General of the Finance Ministry. Of particular interest are companies dedicated to supporting reform in Iraq, notably City and Guilds via GEMs and Stirling Education who are setting up international level qualifications for Iraqi companies for the first time, to raise standards and opportunities for Iraqi companies and youth, and SAP who are dedicated to the digital transformation of Iraq and will be outlining their vision and practical steps to achieve this. Both skills and digital applications are key drivers of a sustainable economy and take centre stage in this respect.

On the Industry Panel we see Dahlia Energy, Sardar Group, Al Busttan and Khudairi discussing the diversification of the economy and how they can help sustain momentum into the future, with their forward-looking businesses.

In parallel the online Tech conference is addressing data and its benefit to Government, business and the citizen. Sponsored by SAP, who will lead on the benefits of data in digital transformation, complimented by UK's GDS, Mastercard on smart cities, UK's Agri-epicentre and British Water and Serco; all leaders in their fields and passionate about the benefits of technology and data in delivering sustainable future economies.

For companies looking to meet the main business leaders in Iraq, this really is a conference to attend. Not only to meet Government officials and ministers, but also the leading supply chain organisations and IOC's and to learn about the future opportunities and likely evolution of Iraq's economy. To this end there is a pre-conference reception the night before at the Iraqi pavilion Dubai Expo 2020, and many opportunities to interact with delegates during lunch and coffee breaks, as well as the ability to sign up to view the conference online.

For more information and the latest speaker line up- please go to: IBBC Autumn Conference - IBBC (iraqbritainbusiness.org)

About the sponsors:

Saradar Group: Principal sponsors

With more than 30 years of rich experience in the automotive sector, Sardar Group became the leading group in the Automotive Sector in Iraq. Their intimate knowledge of the Iraqi market helped import, stock and sell the right brands, types, and models, while their excellent reputation, track record and credibility have helped grow the business times many over since 2003.

Since 2005 with a desire to move from Automobile Trading to providing its customers with all-round Automotive Solutions, Sardar Group started utilizing the synergies of its existing operations to diversify its automotive business activities to include Trading, Leasing of Vehicles, Equipment & Machinery and most importantly Aftersales Service Support.

Today, Sardar Group represents world-renowned automotive brands and heavy construction equipment & machinery exemplified in the following brands:

  • Toyota & Hino (in partnership with Sumitomo Corporation)
  • Jaguar
  • Land Rover
  • Polaris
  • Doosan
  • TOTO

Hydro-C : Gold Sponsors

Hydro-C is catalysing the transition of fossil fuel-based energy to renewables by means of introducing sustainable green solutions into the industry to decarbonise operations and projects, and maintain profitable output. The company plan to focus on Solar, Wind and Hydro powers as a source of energy to achieve net Zero with energy providers and IOCs by 2050 in Iraq. By trading the UK innovative solutions and replicating successful projects which can cut on emissions and support sustainable growth. The company focus is on investing in the young generation, education, new technologies and innovations to support this transition.

SAP: Gold Sponsors

SAP is one of the world's leading producers of software for the management of business processes, developing solutions that facilitate effective data processing and information flow across organizations. SAP helps companies and organizations of all sizes and industries run their businesses profitably, adapt continuously, and grow sustainably. With a global network of customers, partners, employees, and thought leaders, SAP helps the world run better and improves people's lives. SAP is the market leader in enterprise application software, helping companies of all sizes and in all industries run at their best: 77% of the world's transaction revenue touches an SAP system. SAP's machine learning, Internet of Things (IoT), and advanced analytics technologies help turn customers' businesses into intelligent enterprises. Their end-to-end suite of applications and services enables its customers to operate profitably, adapt continuously, and make a different

City&Guilds/ GEMS: Gold Sponsors

City and Guilds was Founded in 1878 and Granted a Royal Charter by Queen Victoria in 1900.

Global leader in skills development. 4 million people each year use City and Guilds to develop skills that help them into a job, develop on that job and prepare for their next job. Global Benchmark operating in Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and UAE

Vocational Education / City and Guilds Models in Iraq:

  • To Partner with Training Institutions for delivery of City and Guilds qualifications - pathway to work programmes with curricula developed by employers.
  • Accredit employers' own training so employees can obtain internationally recognised qualifications.
  • Partner with Iraqi investors to set up Private Technical and Vocational Institutions that deliver City and Guild qualifications.

Operational in Baghdad, Basra, Erbil and exploring a project in Najaf.

Serco: Silver Sponsors

Serco is managing Air Traffic control systems in Iraq and internationally. In the Middle East, Serco employs more than 4,500 people across four countries including the United Arab Emirates, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Iraq

Basra Gateway Terminal: Bronze Sponsors

Basra Gateway Terminal (BGT) is Iraq's premier container and multi-purpose cargo handling facility. It is situated in Umm Qasr, 50 km from Basra and 500 km from Baghdad.

Operated by International Container Terminal Services Inc. (ICTSI), BGT's team of high-performing Iraqi and International port professionals deliver customer-focused, high productivity and congestion-free port services to Iraq's economy.

Bell Finance LLC: Bronze Sponsors

Bell Finance Limited Liability Company was created in the US State of Delaware in July 2019 to build upon the Iraq Middle Market Development Foundation's lending and educational activities in Iraq since 2005 (www.immdf.org). Bell will continue IMMDF's lending activities by co-financing with Iraqi banks qualifying private sector projects that generate employment and economic growth in Iraq, incorporating Iraqi private sector companies as equity partners. Bell will also continue and expand IMMDF's educational activities in Iraq.

(Source: IBBC)

The post IBBC Dubai Autumn Conference fields Top Speakers in All Sectors first appeared on Iraq Business News.

IBBC’s Autumn Conference – Open for Business Engagement

IBBC's Autumn conference is back with a bang and open for business engagement.

On 22nd November this year the overarching conference topic is looking to the future with 'sustainability'- whether in terms of energy and renewables, the Iraqi economy and its diversification, or sustaining finance, logistics and training. Underpinning much of this is the application of technology and modernising ways to run a successful economy, with the tech forum's online sessions.

With a successful election now completed and a new government being formed, it's a good time to discuss the prospects for reform and sustainability.

IBBC members find that the Autumn conference is probably the best forum to meet the leaders in the region and those engaged with provision of supply chains and decision making. Many of Iraq's industry sectors have regional headquarters in Dubai, which enables the high turnout and interest in the networking opportunities.

The current speaker line-up is probably the best for some years, featuring the Iraqi Minster of Oil H.E. Ihsan Abdul Jabbar Ismaael giving a keynote speech, H.E. Dr Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi UAE Minister of State for Foreign Trade. Dr Salem Chalabi, President and Chairman of the Trade Bank of Iraq, Iraqi Ambassador to the UAE H.E. Mudaffar Mustafa Al Jubouri and UK ambassador Mr Mark Bryson-Richardson, Mr Simon Penny, UK's Consul General and Trade Commissioner for the region, and top academic Professor Frank Gunter on the economic outlook for Iraq.

For those engaged with energy, Mr Zaid Elyaseri from BP will be speaking, and Dunia Chalabi will be representing new Iraqi entrants Total, who have signed contracts to invest USD 27 billion in and plan to bring in hundreds of expatriates into Iraq to develop the Ar-Ratawi oil field and build gas capture, solar power and injection water facilities. Leading figures from Oilserve, Ms Sara Akbar, and Hydro-C, Mr Hassan Heshmat, will discuss sustainable energy, and a separate session will be voted to Basrah Gas Company.

The Finance panel includes a stella line up with Emirates Credit Insurance Co, Standard Chartered Bank and IFC. Mr Aziz Khudairi heads the Industry panel and a significant group including Martrade and IBBC Autumn Conference Principal Sponsor Sardar Group.

Finally, and in parallel, an online Tech forum session on Data and its benefits to Government, Economies, business, and citizens, will include speakers from UK's GDS, British Water, Agri-epicentre, Serco and Mastercard with more to be confirmed.

Overall, the panels will be exploring in more detail how to ensure the current high oil and gas prices can bring investment and rebalance the economy and promote and develop agriculture and enhance the food chain to increase employment and reduce food poverty. These discussions will also address how to improve the water supply and waste reduction and consider the role of clean power generation in relation to climate change and initiatives to improve sustainability.

We look forward to welcoming you to Dubai, or even following us online if you are unable to make it in person.

A pre-conference reception will be held at the Iraqi Pavilion at Dubai EXPO2020 in the evening of 21st November.

Finally, we'd very much like to thank our sponsors: Principal Sponsor Sardar Group, Gold Sponsor: Hydro-C, Silver Sponsor: Serco and Reception Sponsor: Basra Gateway Terminal

(Source: IBBC)

The post IBBC's Autumn Conference - Open for Business Engagement first appeared on Iraq Business News.

DNO Completes $400m Bond Placement

DNO ASA, the Norwegian oil and gas operator, has completed the private placement of USD 400 million of new five-year senior unsecured bonds with a coupon rate of 7.875 percent.

The placement met strong investor demand across international markets and was significantly oversubscribed, leading the Company to upsize the new bond issue from USD 300 million to USD 400 million.

Settlement is expected on or about 9 September 2021, subject to customary conditions precedent, and an application will be made for listing of the new bonds on the Oslo Stock Exchange.

Net proceeds will be used towards refinancing of the DNO02 bonds (ISIN: NO0010823347) and general corporate purposes. In connection with the placement, the Company has agreed to buy back USD 154 million in nominal value of the DNO02 bonds with a call notice for the remaining DNO02 bonds and other details to be announced upon settlement of the new bond.

Pareto Securities AS acted as Global Coordinator and Joint Lead Manager together with Danske Bank and SEB as Joint Lead Managers.

(Source: DNO)

The post DNO Completes $400m Bond Placement first appeared on Iraq Business News.