A source informed Bloomberg that the Iraqi government has mandated Citigroup Inc., Deutsche Bank AG, and JPMorgan Chase & Co. to organize meetings to help launch the country’s planned $6b international bond program, announced last month.
“The political risk in Iraq would still be very high for most investors to accept,” cautions Edward Bell, an analyst at Dubai-based bank Emirates NBD PJSC.
Security risks and doubts about “policy continuity and transparency would be a big concern for investors,” he said. Standard & Poor has already rated Iraq at B-.
Iraq has been losing oil revenue due to the decline in oil prices and the war with ISIS. Oil production accounts for 90% of the government budget and 95% of exports.
According to Al-Arabiya, Iraq’s Kurdistan Regional government (KRG) had to allocate $75 m of its revenue from its direct crude oil sales to three international oil companies: Genel Energy and DNO will each receive $30 m and Gulf Keystone will get $15 m.
It had announced last month that it would begin making regular payments to oil-exporting companies of up to $100 m.
The KRG is cash strapped itself thanks to disputes over export rights with the central government in Baghdad.