Investing in Iraq
Ministers from Iraq, from prime minister Nuri al-Maliki down, are in London on Thursday to attract investment into the country. Could Iraq be one of the few investment regions decoupled from the global economic cycle?
It was having a war while the rest of the world was enjoying economic boom. As well as signs of lessening violence now and the promised withdrawal of U.S. combat troops by August 2010, it does have oil.
The country has a $2.7 billion bond maturing in 2028, has written off much of its debt with the Paris Club and others, and is planning government bonds totalling $5 billion.
As one fund manager told me: “Iraq is a less correlated asset, it doesn’t have much debt and its bond is holding up reasonably well.” But he still added, “the political risk is the thing that makes Iraq stand out negatively from other credits”.