In the third quarter the Iraqi market, as measured by the Rabee Index, decreased by 4.6% which was similar to developing market indices. The Iraqi Dinar was stable while the price of Brent dropped 7%. Market volumes remained sluggish as the market was trading near its decade lows. At the end of the quarter the market showed some strength with volumes and certain blue chips stocks on the rise.
Our core position Baghdad Soft Drinks delivered solid Q3 results with sales growth of20%. However the heavy weight banking sector continues to report mixed results. CBI reported a total deposit growth at just 1% ytd, but there are some bright spots. Bank of Baghdad reported 7% customer deposit growth q/q while total income rose by 12% y/y.
In Baghdad, the economic center of Iraq, much have changed over the past quarters. Most of the roadblocks and no-go zones that have been in place for a decade have been removed, so people and goods can move around freely. The hotels are filling up with foreigners, and the streets are bustling with life.
Sources: CBI, Bloomberg, Rabee Securities