On Thursday, the Basrah Gas Company has announced that the company has signed a credit facility agreement worth $50 million with Citi Bank. The statement also confirmed that it will be the first commercial loan offered by Citi to an Iraqi company. The General Manager of Basra Gas Company, Fritz Kalab said in a statement, “This credit facility is a milestone for the first commercial loan, in addition to supporting the company’s working capital needs. It demonstrates the strength of Iraqi institutions and their ability to attract financing the international banks”. Kalab also said, “The business of the company is growing with the increase in the volume of processed gas and exports. There are aspirations to further improve our budget and sources of funding. The relationship with Citi has grown over the years since Basrah Gas started operations, and Citi will continue to support financing opportunities Futuristic”.
The chief executive of Citi Bank in the Middle East and Africa, Ateeq Rehman said, “Iraq is a major market for Citi bank and has great potential for growth and there is a potential for strategic alliance with Basrah Gas Company and we continue to provide them with banking solutions while developing their business and achievements in the country”. He added, “Basra Gas and Citi have implemented a cash management model to meet the needs of the company to pay to Iraqi and international suppliers reliably within the time schedules required in its partnership with local Iraqi banks”.
The Director-General of the Department of Public Debt in the Iraqi Ministry of Finance, Salah al-Din Hamid al-Hadithi said that Iraq invests and encourages foreign investments to support economic growth. The time is witnessing at present more cooperation between Iraqi companies and foreign investors, especially the credit facility agreement signed between the companies. Al-Hadithi added, “This gives the company the flexibility to increase its investments and expand its production, and enhances the confidence of international banks in the Iraqi economy”. It is noteworthy that Citi bank opened a representative office in Baghdad in 2013 to support the institutional customers of Citi Bank in the country.