EconSource: World Bank Approves $350 Million Aid Package for Iraq

The World Bank (WB) approved a $350 million financial assistance package earlier this week to help rebuild infrastructure in Iraq that has been damaged by war and restore public services in local areas. “The $350 million financial assistance package, approved by the World Bank Board of Directors, will contribute to Iraq’s efforts to rebuild state institutions and put the economy on the path to recovery in areas where conflict has subsided,” the Bank said in a statement. The statement said the Iraq Emergency Operation for Development is part of a larger program that will be carried out over a five-year period in seven cities in two conflict-affected governorates, Salah al-Din and Diyala. The program’s activities are also aimed at financially benefiting areas to which internally displaced people are expected to return. [The Daily Star, 7/9/2015]

Egypt’s Banque Misr to raise $500 million via bond sale
Banque Misr, Egypt’s second-largest state bank, plans to raise $500 million via a dollar-denominated bond on international markets within three months, three banking sources said Thursday. Two of the sources said the bank was currently negotiating with international institutions to promote the bond sale. The Egyptian government paved the way for the country’s banks to tap financial markets for cash when it returned to the international debt market last month after a five-year hiatus. Banque Misr has held informal talks with potential arrangers for the bond, a third source said, adding that the bond will be a five-year deal and will follow an expected syndicated loan by Banque Misr. [Reuters, 7/9/2015]

Saudi bank NCB posts 2.6 percent drop in net profit, misses forecasts
Saudi Arabia’s National Commercial Bank (NCB), the kingdom’s largest lender, posted a 2.6 percent fall in second-quarter net profit on Thursday, missing analysts’ forecasts as fee income weakened and operating expenses rose. NCB is the fifth Saudi bank to report earnings for the second-quarter. The sector’s performance is more mixed than in the first quarter, when all but one of the top seven lenders reported higher profits. NCB reported a net profit of 2.36 billion riyals ($629 million) in the second quarter, down from 2.43 billion riyals in the same period of 2014. Analysts surveyed by Reuters had forecast a net profit of 2.47 billion riyals for the second quarter. [Reuters, 7/9/2015]

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