Sunday, May 12, 2013


Greetings everyone and sorry for the delay. Site still not moved yet but wanted to provide some information from a financial point of view.

 The information provided is from other members that I speak to on a very regular basis with Ray.

 Ray and I wanted to take a new approach and start looking at this financial part of things.

 To start with, a while back, the ISX (Iraq Stock Exchange) took and devalued every company on their exchange by 80 to 90 percent, except Asiacell.

Asiacell has not yet filled the IPO's that are pending. They were not devalued because the stock that was to be issued was going to be at the new rate.

To this day the are still "devalued" which is huge for us regarding this investment. Perhaps some of the more experienced members involved in the financial part can explain in a more detailed way why this is huge.
  My take why it is huge is that a company operating on the ISX is there go sell shares of stock and be prosperous in that country. If you get your company devalued by 80 to 90 percent, then that pretty much makes you worthless and you will never ever attract investors in your business.

  Another comment that is worth sharing:

 Hey Team:

 I was visiting with a friend this week that is a financial analyst and he was sharing some things with me about Iraq and Kuwait.  He pointed out that Iraq was so much larger than Kuwait in size and had overwhelming resources………………..yet the average income in Iraq is $3650 USD per year and Kuwait is $46,000 USD per year. 

Again, considering the massive resources that Iraq has, you would think that PRIDE would step in here somewhere and re-adjust this a little bit.  He was also completely convinced that the ISX was fixed and would remain that way until the country restructured their currency.

 Hope you guys have a great day!

  These companies, we believe, had no choice in the matter. Here is a recent article that we felt was significant.

 5-9-13 Iraq Business News:

 With so much gloomy news around, it is good to find some analysis that shows the other side of the story: A report just issued by Sansar Capital suggests that shares in Iraq’s banking sector may be ripe for a re-rating.

 Key to the report’s findings is the argument that Iraq’s banks are exceptionally well capitalized, having been forced to raise significant funding to comply with the “arbitrary” rules set by the Central Bank of Iraq (CBI).

 To put it another way, they are sitting on a huge pile of cash that is not working for them, or more accurately, not yet working for them. This should enable to the banks to grow rapidly in an under banked economy, while adjusting the return on equity (RoE) to allow for this gives some rather attractive numbers.

The report also finds that some of the most efficient banks are trading on the most attractive valuations, which may be caused by unsophisticated investors focusing on the nominal share price, while ignoring the capital and future earnings per share.

 Taken together, this could represent a buying opportunity for investors, but they should, of course, form their own opinions on these metrics. The full report can be read here, as part of Iraq Business News reports service.

 A Closer Look at the Iraqi Banking Sector   Posted on 08 May 2013.


Singapore-based Sansar Capital Management has issued a comprehensive new report on the Iraqi banking sector:

Executive Summary

The Iraqi banking sector is poised for significant earnings and asset growth over the next decade driven by a strong macro environment, increasing credit penetration and an improving security situation. The IMF forecasts Iraqi GDP to grow at a rate of 9.0% in 2013 on the back of 8.4% growth in 2012 placing Iraq solidly in the category of one of the fastest growing economies in the world.

The IEA in its World Energy Outlook report stated that Iraq is expected to contribute 45% of the global incremental oil supply over this decade. As a result, the IEA central scenario forecast predicts Iraq GDP to grow 151% between 2011 to 2020.

 Rising credit penetration is likely to further fuel banking sector growth. According to the World Bank, Iraqi domestic credit to GDP stood at a mere 9 percent of GDP at the end of 2011 as compared to a 55 percent of GDP average for the Middle East North Africa (MENA) region.3 Domestic credit to GDP grew at a clip of 89 percent CAGR between 2009-2011.

 Buoyed by strong economic growth and rising credit penetration, the 5 largest private Iraqi banks grew aggregate net income by 207% between 2010-2012. Dilution driven by increases in equity capital resulted in earnings-per-share growth to be lower but still impressive with aggregate EPS growth of 111% from 2010-2012.

 The growth in GDP and banking sector earnings go hand-in-hand with the improving security situation. As violence declined by over 80% between 2006-2012, Iraqis in many parts of the country enjoyed relative calm and stability.

In 2012, large U.S. cities like Chicago and New Orleans had higher violence related deaths per capita when compared to Iraq.  That is not to say all areas in Iraq are safe. Violence in Iraq remains highly localized with 91% of the violence related deaths occurring in 7 of the 18 provinces and 2/3 of the violence being inflicted on 1/3 of the population.

The remaining 11 provinces, including the southern oil-rich provinces, have had relative security and stability.

 While the mix of an improving macro environment and security situation offer attractive investment ingredients, many challenges remain for those interested in participating through public markets.

 Iraq continues to be ranked as one of the most difficult places to conduct business and is often ranked high on corruption indices. Corporate governance at most publicly traded companies is poor and regulatory oversight weak; anecdotal examples of management teams serving their own self-interest at the expense of other stakeholders remain abundant.

In such an environment, investors are cautioned to carry out extensive due-diligence including having on the ground presence in Iraq.

 Please click to read the full report from Sansar Capital Management:




 Now I would like to share some more comments about this article.

We are gaining momentum.  This Sunday, the governor of the CBI (Turki) will be meeting with the Finance Committee.  This is important because they need to have the private banks to participate under the governing laws of the CBI to exchange the hard currency (true value).  

The CBI took away that privilege a few weeks ago and only allowed the transfer of hard currency through the Rasheed Islamic bank.  Why is this important you ask?  

Well, by allowing them to participate again means monetary policies are about to change.  The private banks horded the USD and once in a while exchanged dinars for dollars but at a much higher rate.  

Yesterday, the finance committee approved to distribute zero interest loans to its citizens.  This is also a positive step forward knowing that monies will be available to them to make such loans and keep inflation low:)  

 A few days ago Iraq received 3 Hercules c130j's.  Why is this important?  Well if you remember last year they were suppose to receive one plane but it fell apart.  The SFA was not activated.  In December Panetta's team (James Miller, under sec. of Defense and the acting secretary for arms control  and security...Rose XXXXXXX) met with the GOI to sign the SFA and get it ready to activate . 

 On March 3, 2013, the Iraqi national Security advisor Al-fayad and his delegation met in Washington with prominent US Officials.  They discussed the private sector of the SFA and taking steps to activate the SFA.  On March 24, 2013 John Kerry met with PM Maliki. 

This meeting was to get the SFA activated in the near future. When I say activate the SFA, I don't mean just part of it but the full agreement (Defense, Cultural, Humanitarian and private sector(banking...).  The reason why I am writing this information is so you can understand what I was looking for.  :)   

The only way for the GOI to receive the C130's was to activate the SFA.  A few days ago they received these 3 c130's.

 Now back to the article that our member was so generous to share.  The article states there will be a Re-Rating (change) of the shares in the ISX.  That will happen because the monetary policies in Iraq are about to change.  The GOI received the C130's, this tells us the SFA has been activated:)  

Turki is meeting this Sunday with the Finance Committee to do something with the private sector in the coming days (laws that are ready to be implemented?).  The importance of the activating the SFA also allows for Iraq to be removed from Chapter VII (one helps the other).  

Once that's done you will see Iraq become a full member of the WTO.  At the same time we will see our RV! :)

 Also note the Kurds are on board to vote on the criminalization of the Baath law, when Nujaifi introduces it (I think Nujaifi was holding this back until the Kurds got what they wanted;). They have four active days to pass these laws before they go on vacation.  I have a feeling they will vote and pass the laws because we see movement on there monetary policy change (above).


Good morning Ray and Steve!

 I was able to catch up with my ISX guy today and talk about the current situation and the monthly report that I sent you.  Here is the results from our conversation:

 Several months ago the CBI challenged the banks to increase their capitalization to 250bln (IQD) by June of 2013. Many of them have used the strategy of incentivizing investors by offering bonus (free) shares to existing shareholders if they would buy more shares at a set price.

This would result in an infusion of investment dollars into each specific bank. I am assuming this “Before and After” increase is a reflection of that process.

 Before when the capitalization increased say from 150 bln IQD to 200 bln IQD it would show that change in the “Issued Capital” and “Outstanding Shares” in the bank profile on the ISX.

The Issued Capital and Outstanding Shares were ALWAYS the identical number. When the value of the Issued Capital changed drastically last week or so, there became a disconnect. The Issued Capital was dramatically cut but the Outstanding Shares remain the same at the higher number.

The share price remained the same. This is financially impossible! The books, ISX company profiles do not reflect accurate or the real values.

 Example: Apple states it is valued at $500 billion then suddenly reports it is now worth 5 billion but the number of shares to purchase and the share price remained the same!!!!! This would make the shares worth fractions of a fraction of a fraction of  Something is not right!.

Typically this would be a reverse split with the number of shares available would be reduced proportionally and the share price would go up proportionally. Neither happen on the ISX!!!

 On another note:

 Asiacell boasts of a tremendous success yet it is currently trading below the IPO price. The ISX with this IPO increased its value by 25% yet the overall index was unchanged!!!!!!!

 IMO, everything on the ISX is being manipulated for the time being. If the ISX wants international investors, sooner or later it will have to become transparent and reveal the real values. When that happens everyone in the ISX will have shares that will skyrocket in valuation, (PRE-RV) IMO!

I believe this shift in the valuation of the companies on the ISX is the first step in the ISX revaluation process, JMO


May 6th, 2013

The ISX did send a delegation to a securities market symposium in Washington, attended by 72 countries. Looks like they want to join the “Big Boy” table soon!”


Folks, as you can see, we have some very exciting times ahead of us. I have a lot more information that I will add to this post as the day goes on. Please feel free to ask any questions and I will reply as quickly as I can. I will be with my wife most of the day and visiting friends, but I will make time for you all.

Laws are getting passed faster than we can report them, which is a very good sign that this is almost over. I hope the money part is going to give you hope especially if you lost it. I cannot guarantee you an RV, but can assure you one is in our futures. This investment is an awesome one and sure glad I stayed in it, and you will too.

I can only say one thing, the reason for the devaluation is due to a pending revaluation of their currency. Plan and simple! Follow the money folks.

So, go enjoy family and friends and I will add some more very good financial news as soon as I can.

 Remember, How we give is more important than how much we give!

 Happy Mothers Day to All!  Blessings,  Steve

Another Related Article worth reading

Louis Berger Group to Help Establish Erbil Stock Exchange


Posted on 02 April 2013.  Charles-Bell-Louis-Berger-Group.gif

The Louis Berger Group has announced that it will help the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) to start up the Erbil Stock Exchange (ESX) in Iraq’s Kurdistan region, a joint endeavor of the Iraqi government and private sector to build a modern securities market.

“The launch of the ESX initiative is yet another testimony of the commitment of the people of our region to not only showcase the positive developments in Kurdistan, but to also position the region as the gateway to Iraq and its growth-oriented companies,” said Abdullah A. Abdul Rahem (Abo Bangin), chairman of the ESX, at the recent contract signing ceremony.

Louis Berger will provide technical assistance toward the establishment of the ESX. Key tasks will include developing and implementing a business plan; recruiting and training exchange staff; and selecting and installing trading, clearance and settlement systems infrastructure. Louis Berger will work closely with the region’s senior ministers, including the prime minister’s office, as well as prominent community businesses, financial institutions, investors and other stakeholders.

“This high-profile initiative is an example of the diversity of our company’s work. The project presents an opportunity to help reshape a region’s financial and economic system through developing modern financial market infrastructure that boosts development,” said Charles Bell (pictured), Louis Berger’s Integrated Development group vice president.

“The ESX will open a new frontier of financing to growth-oriented companies, while generating new opportunities for investors to start or diversify their securities investments.”

Work on the ESX will begin in April. Louis Berger’s technical team has worked on other stock exchanges and recently completed an effort to strengthen the Iraqi financial sector under the USAID-funded Tijara program, a five-year initiative to promote private sector growth and employment in Iraq.

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