New banking licence expected soon

20 February 2004
Potential shareholders in a new private sector bank are expecting to be issued a licence by the Central Bank of Iraq by the end of February. The new institution, which will be called Mansour Bank, is expected to have initial paid-in capital of over $10 million.

' MerchantBridge & Company[a London-based merchant bank] has an interest in taking a stake in the bank,' says Basil al-Rahim, MerchantBridge's managing director.

'All the other shareholders are Iraqi nationals. We are expecting more licences to be issued: it is the central bank's aim to open the market to anyone with the qualifications, capital and capabilities.'

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