The Iraq Stock Exchange (ISX) opened in June 2004. The CEO Taha Ahmed Abdulsalam al Rubaye, has been the leader since its opening. The Iraq Securities Commission (ISC) has oversight over the ISX. The ISX was built to model after the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. CEO al-Rubaye gives an outstanding interview on the ISX and the current issues. The ISX is in the Karrada district of Baghdad, they’re open for two hours a day to execute buy and sell orders. In the last three years the ISX has tripled its market capitalization.
CEO al-Rubaye travels to the ISX office under armed security. The CEO gives an insight of the issues at the ISX quoting “How can I bring money and invest in a project when there are old methods? I need four to six months to register a company and then [I need to] wire money from side to side. All those kinds of services must be made by banks, by the stock exchange.”
The CEO is describing the issues with wire transfers between banks to accomplish brokerage activities. An issue recently discussed on the American Contractor Podcast. In 2007, The ISX allowed foreigners to trade, they make up for 20% of the trades. Bank of America and Merrill Lynch have previously said that they expect Iraq’s economy to triple by 2024. Iraq private banks still make up 21 of the 82 listed stocks. Only 15% of Iraqi’s have bank accounts. The Telecom Company Zain, is expected to enter the ISX at the end of the year.
CEO al-Rubaye has stated that Iraq private companies continue to resist the idea of going public. They are leery because they don’t want to disclose their financials. The Erbil Stock Exchange (ESX) will start in November with a capitalization of 8 million and have five to ten listings at the end of the year. The ESX will be using the same platform as the ISX, the NASDAQ OMX’s X-stream trading system. The ISX currently has a limited online trading platform and the CEO will be implementing a wider online trading system at the end of July. Currently, there are 25 exchanges that globally use the NASDAQ OMX’s X-stream platform. CEO al-Rubaye has stated that there is great potential with the ISX if the security situation does not deteriorate.
Read the full article at Arabian Business