They just got a different tool to use than we do: They kill innocent lives to achieve objectives. That's what they do. And they're good. They get on the TV screens and they get people to ask questions about, well, you know, this, that or the other. I mean, they're able to kind of say to people: Don't come and bother us, because we will kill you. Bush - Joint News Conference with Blair - 28 July '06

Friday, September 23, 2005

Iraqi investors launch investment firm [in Jordan]

reuters: Leading Iraqi businessmen have set up a holding company in Amman to undertake multi-million dollar investments in projects in their home country, a founder of the group said on Friday.

Abbas Shamara said a 13-strong board of directors would be elected when the Rafidain Projects Development Company's 134 founders meet on Saturday in Amman to launch the private shareholding firm, limited for the moment to Iraqi nationals.

"This is the first time in Iraq's modern history that Iraqis of all groups will be joining in setting up an investment holding company abroad that will undertake diversified projects in real estate, tourism and industry," Shamara told Reuters in an interview in Amman.

"Most Iraqi-owned firms have traditionally been either individual or family dominated concerns," said Shamara, whose own private firm manages electricity projects in Iraq.

The company's founders plan initially to raise up to $100 million in a diversified range of projects that tap funds of expatriate Iraqi businessmen running profitable concerns abroad but who also maintain extensive interests in their home country.

Many of its founders are influential Iraqis with investment portfolios ranging from the West to the Gulf who have moved to Jordan in recent years.

Once projects get under way, the founders will seek a listing on the Baghdad bourse and the Jordanian stock market, Shamara said. The firm envisages setting up an Iraqi-based subsidiary with the same shareholder base.

"In the initial phase the focus is on Jordan but once the security situation improves we will undertake projects in Iraq through a joint company," Shamara said. Read more

db: The 'initial phase' could be 5 to 10 years - and that's upside.