Iraqi Banks Gaining Ground


This is a couple days behind, but I thought it might be of interest to a few visitors: Iraq's Ailing Banking Industry Is Slowly Reviving.

Still, the fall of the Hussein regime has encouraged the private sector.

At least two new banks have opened since April 2003, and eight others have submitted applications to open. Foreigners have begun venturing in, taking advantage of investment laws that grant non-Iraqis a level of access to the country unprecedented in much of the Middle East. And Iraqi banks, mostly barred by Mr. Hussein from ties to the outside world, have been welcoming foreigners and venturing abroad as well.

It's a largely unresearched position, but I still contend that economic development will preceed physical security on the level we'd like to see (that is, without the need for armed patrols in neighborhoods). People will be far less willing to join or tacitly support armed resistance if they've got something to lose. Which makes this a disturbing statistic:

Indeed, Iraq's tight credit market has gotten worse. According to a study by Citigroup, which has no banking operations in Iraq, nearly 30 percent of the country's banking assets remain uninvested, up from 12 percent in 2001.


For those interested in the Iraqi economy, Arthur Chrenkoff's latest has a swath of goods links, including an Iraq-Jordan free trade zone and the future opening of two new International airports--in Basra and Najaf.

Also the article you linked to has this:

At the government-owned banks, the branches are cold, musty chambers where customers stand in line for hours as employees sit idly at their desks. While the private banks tend to look better, there are no cash machines or online payments in Iraq. Banks handle transactions by hand rather than using electronic Swift codes, for Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication, the international standard for moving money.

Yet the Dinar commenters are talking about electronically sending money to Al-Warka bank all the time...

I've not ventured into that comment section. I wonder how they're doing it if not by the method mentioned in the article? I'm sure someone over there has come up with a way.

From my understanding of US urban economic development strategies, basic security, at a much higher level than you are aiming for in this post, is a fundamental pre-req for successful economic activity. The same goes with Beirut (once the shooting stopped, economic activity exploded, but the shooting had to stop) etc.


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This page contains a single entry by published on January 3, 2005 2:07 PM.

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