NBI shareholders agreed at an extraordinary general meeting on 3 December to approve the deal that will see the bank increase its capital to $6 million from $1 million. EFB will also take a minority stake in the bank. The contract is due to be signed once EFB completes due diligence on the deal.

NBI shareholders, including EFB, also agreed to double their investment in the next three-six months taking NBI’s capital to $12 million. ‘Iraq’s private banks are very small and in the next few months up to six international banks will be given licences to open in Iraq,’ says a source at NBI. ‘To survive, the local banks need to increase their capital levels quickly.’