Saturday Morning Iraq Economy News Highlights 1-14-23
A Bright Future For Iraq Economy
January 13, 2023 Rabee Securities Founder and Chairperson Shwan Ibrahim Taha.
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For a country enshrined in political controversy and uncertainty, the economic outlook for the future of Iraq looks optimistic, according to Rabee Securities Founder and Chairperson Shwan Ibrahim Taha. He said: “Under the circumstances, the Iraq markets and economy have managed to stand firm, which is what is required in a such difficult political standstill and tense geopolitical situations”.
Iraq has entered a legislative vacuum with the government in Baghdad acting as a caretaker cabinet without the executive authority to deal with the broader matters of the state, having only limited authority to conduct regular business related to security, health, education, and social services.
Despite this, interim progress has been made as the new President, and the PM immediately began forming bilateral relations with representatives from Saudi Arabia, Japan, China, England, and France to call on them to invest in Iraq. More recently, Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) announced that it would set up a company to invest in Iraq, which is expected to pave the way for a raft of government implementation of laws and regulations to attract further overseas investors to the country.
Taha emphasized that such a positive outlook must be accompanied by precise, sustainable, and measured policies starting with reducing the share of government wages in the annual budget. He also highlighted the importance of implementing more robust governance measures and fixing the electricity shortage, which could be solved by increasing funds usage transparency with clear KPIs.
He said: “I am optimistic about Iraq’s outlook; we will witness a gradual increase in production to reach five million barrels by 2028. Any significant downside in oil prices could add some pressure. Still, we are positive that international investors are slowly returning, and this will be further helped by improvements to internal policies implementation.”
During 2022, Iraq’s budget revenues increased by 59% yearly to $100.9 billion, mainly due to the increase in oil prices. As a result, the budget surplus increased significantly from $4.8 billion to $40.3 billion during the first eleven months of the year compared to the previous year. Iraq’s central bank foreign currency reserves rose to $96 bn as of December 16, 2022.
On the stock market side, Rabee Securities Iraq Stock Exchange Index (RSISX Index) decreased by 0.8% (USD RSISX Index: -3.8%), while the most significant number of outstanding ISX-listed companies, 21 out of 103, opted to distribute cash dividends during 2022 with a dividend yield range of 0.6% and 18.4%. On a positive note, forty-six companies’ share prices went up in 2022, of which 41 increased more than 5%, and 39 increased more than 10%.
Overview of Rabee Securities’ (RS) operations in 2022
Rabee Securities hosted a 3-day event (7-9 March, 2022) at the Iraq Pavilion at EXPO 2020 to showcase Iraq’s top technology startups. The focus was on various sectors including medical services, tourism, education, fashion, transportation, etc. There are close to 200 startups in Iraq, and there is a lot of potential in the country for new startups, that will be potential listings on the ISX in the future.
The company continued sponsoring and supporting the only stock market TV program in Iraq “Stock Market Week” published on Channel 24 on Saturdays at 3:00 pm. At the end of 2022, the TV program reached the 93rd episode, with 66 hosted guests in total. (To watch the “Stock Market Week” programs please follow RS YouTube channel).
Rabee Securities launched the first online trading App to trade on the ISX (RS Trading App) in May 2022. It is capable for local investors to open a trading account in the ISX, trade in the listed companies, review the latest news of the market and companies and review their portfolio. In addition to continuing to invest in technology, RS will continue to take the responsibility to increase awareness and knowledge about investing in a stock market for locals.
Huge Numbers Are Expected To Be Spent In The 2023 Budget
2023-01-14 Yes Iraq: Baghdad I DID NOT HAVE MY SUNRISE CLOCKPreliminary figures revealed the size of the expected initial spending in the 2023 budget, which the parliamentary and popular circles are looking forward to.
Representative Mustafa Jabbar Sanad said in a post monitored by “Yass Iraq” that the preliminary figures for the 2023 budget indicate that the expected spending will reach 269 trillion dinars, with a deficit that will reach 121 trillion dinars, as the revenues will amount to only 148 trillion dinars.
On the other hand, the economic advisor to the Prime Minister, Mazhar Muhammad Salih, said that the expected spending ceiling for the budget will reach between 150-200 trillion Iraqi dinars. LINK
The Huge Deficit In The 2023 Budget…A Huge Percentage That Violates The Financial Management Law
2023-01-14 Yes Iraq: Baghdad Expectations and preliminary figures for the budget indicate that the deficit will be in violation of the Financial Management Law, which does not allow the deficit to exceed 3% of the gross domestic product.
Researcher Basil Hussein said, “The next budget will be around 200 trillion Iraqi dinars, with a deficit of 70 trillion Iraqi dinars, or 35% of the budget.”
He added, “If this is true, it would violate Financial Management Law No. 6 of 2019, which in its article (6/fourth) does not allow the deficit to exceed 3% of the GDP.”
On the other hand, Representative Mustafa Jabbar Sanad revealed that the size of the deficit will reach, according to preliminary figures, 121 trillion dinars, which is a huge number equivalent to the entire budget of Iraq in 2021. LINK
Schulz: Iraq May Be A Partner In Supplying Oil And Gas To Germany
Publish date: 14.01.2023 | 00:11 GMT |world News German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Iraqi Prime Minister Mohamed Shiaa Al-Sudani German Chancellor Olaf Scholz suggested that Iraq would become a partner in the supply of oil and gas to Germany.
Schulz said during a joint press conference with Iraqi Prime Minister Muhammad Shia’ al-Sudani that a work program for cooperation between Germany and Iraq had been agreed upon, stressing his country’s support for diversifying the economy and sources of national income in the country.
Schultz stressed that Berlin supports the establishment of stable infrastructure for the electricity sector in Iraq. He welcomed the agreement of the Iraqi Ministry of Electricity with Siemens to modernize the system in Iraq.
He added that his country’s government supports the focus of the new government in Iraq on economic reforms and job creation. Source: Iraqi News Agency LINK
Parliament Moves To Confront The High Price Of The Dollar
(documents)proposals from Economy / Localities |Today, 13:17 | Baghdad today – Baghdad
Member of Parliament Raed al-Maliki announced today, Saturday, the collection of parliamentary signatures to discuss the policies and procedures of the Central Bank regarding the rise in dollar exchange rates and the decline in currency exchange, in the presence of the Governor of the Central Bank.
According to documents issued on the 10th of this month and obtained by (Baghdad Today): “Collecting signatures of more than thirty deputies demanding a discussion of the Central Bank of Iraq’s procedures regarding the high exchange rates of the dollar and its instability in the local markets.” LINK
“It Has Nothing To Do With The Dollar.” Parliamentary Hosts For Poultry Project Owners To Find Out The Reason For The High Price Of Eggs
2023-01-14 04:21 Shafaq News / The Parliamentary Agriculture Committee announced today, Saturday, that it will host a number of poultry project owners to discuss the issue of the high prices of table eggs in the local markets, which it described as “unjustified”, revealing at the same time its intention to host officials in the Ministry of Agriculture to restore prices to normal. .
A member of the Parliamentary Agriculture Committee, Haider Al-Azerjawi, told Shafaq News agency, “The Parliamentary Agriculture Committee will host tomorrow, Sunday, the owners of a number of poultry projects, to discuss the reasons for the increase in table eggs, given that they are a local product and that the local product’s link to the dollar is weak.”
The deputy added, “The increase in the prices of a box of table eggs, under the pretext of the high dollar exchange rates, is illogical.”
And the member of Parliamentary Agriculture continued, “The committee, after discussing the reasons for the rise in eggs with poultry owners, will prepare its report, and then host officials in the Ministry of Agriculture to return the price of table eggs to the official price.” .”
The price of table eggs is witnessing an unprecedented rise in the Iraqi markets, which some attribute to the rise in the price of the dollar against the local currency, at a time when citizens complain about the speculations of merchants and their exploitation of the economic conditions That affected the lives of citizens to raise food prices, even those that have nothing to do with the rise in the price of the dollar against the dinar. . LINK
An Official Iranian Position On The Dollar Crisis In Iraq
Posted On2023-01-14 By Sotaliraq On Friday, the Iranian ambassador to Iraq, Muhammad Kazem Al Sadiq, commented on the crisis of the dollar’s high exchange rate in Iraq.
Al Sadiq said in a tweet, “The Islamic Republic remains the first supporter of the development, stability and development of Iraq, regardless of accusations that want to divert public opinion from the main cause of the dollar exchange rate crisis.”
The Iranian diplomat’s statements come at a time when Tehran is being accused of smuggling dollars from Iraq to Iran, which prompted Washington to impose sanctions on Iraqi banks for smuggling hard currency LINK