Baghdad, Iraq, 15th January 2024, In 2023, the RSISX USD Index almost doubled, exhibiting a significant 97.2% growth due to the upward trend in the market benefiting from improving economic and security conditions. Iraq’s net foreign reserves reached around $111.3 billion by the end of the year, and the country also recorded a budget surplus of around $12.3 billion. Growth in profits of ISX-listed companies and high dividend yields increased interest in the market as well.

Shwan Ibrahim Taha, Founder and Chairman of  Rabee Securities, said: “Iraq’s economy continued to depend on oil revenues and is expected to do so for many years ahead. The good news is that oil exports reached 1.23 billion barrels in 2023, which is around 5% higher than last year and considered a record high. Despite revenue drops, the positive aspect of the story is Iraq’s ability to reach such levels and become a more influential player in the global oil market.”

“Seeing a better appreciation for trading company stocks in 2023 was a healthy sign that trust is building up in the market. The annual trading volume reached $500 million, marking a 42% increase compared to 2022” Mr. Taha added.

Among the companies that have significant weight in the RSISX index, National Bank of Iraq increased its profit before tax by 337% y/y in the first nine months of 2023, while Bank of Baghdad, Baghdad Soft Drinks, and Asiacell recorded 186%, 138%, and 50% profit before tax growth, respectively.

During the year, 21 out of 103 ISX-listed companies decided to distribute cash dividends with a 5.9% average dividend yield. Credit Bank of Iraq offered the largest dividend yield with 31.6%, followed by Asiacell with 12.3% and Ashur International Bank with 11.9%.

47 companies’ share prices recorded an increase in 2023, while 7 of them increased by more than 100.0%. Al-Ameen Estate Investment witnessed the largest increase in share prices by 525.0% during the year, followed by Credit Bank of Iraq with a 229.2% yearly increase.

The banking sector dominated the trading volume, acquiring the highest share at 76.3% followed by the industry sector with a 10.2% share, the telecom sector contributing 4.9%, the agriculture sector with a 4.0% share, the hotels & tourism sector at 2.1%, and the services sector at 1.9%.

Disclaimer: The views, suggestions, and opinions expressed here are the sole responsibility of the experts. No  journalist was involved in the writing and production of this article.

News Reporter