After years of neglect, the Iraqi banking sector offers promise once again. Mobile banking, trade finance and infrastructure financing opportunities are proving attractive to existing lenders and the wave of new entrants looking to break into the market. But, before the tide can finally turn, there are regulatory issues that need addressing.
Latest articles from Iraq
Iraq's banking sector is struggling to put its ever-increasing assets to work, a situation not helped by the fact that it is dominated by inefficient state-owned institutions. Can an influx of foreign banks – and the technology and expertise they bring – help transform the sector, or will development hinge on the state-owned banks' ability to reform?
The steady growth of sharia-compliant assets suggests banks believe in the future of the sector, but the dismantling of the largest cross-border Islamic window raises questions about whether global banking groups can make a success of the business.
After performing admirably in the aftermath of the global financial crisis, the growth of Lebanon's banks dramatically slowed. The Arab Spring uprisings in the Middle East and north Africa last year further unsettled the country's financial sector, but, as leading figures from its banks explain, there is still a great deal of room for optimism.
The Iraq government’s plans to increase oil exports from 2.2 million barrels per day to 4 million opens up a wealth of investment opportunities. Oil minister Abdul Karim al-Luaibi tells Courtney Fingar what this could mean for the conflict-torn country.
The chairman of the Trade Bank of Iraq, Hussein Al Uzri, reveals how things are looking up in Iraq, with banks seeing progress with letters of credit and discussions in place to help finance the projects earmarked for the country. Writer Courtney Fingar
A muscular banking sector will make or break whether Iraq is to rebuild and prosper. And while there are increasing levels of capital inflow into the region, local banking infrastructure remains limited, leaving the sector wide open for foreign investment. Writer Courtney Fingar in Baghdad