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Iraq Bonds Defy Risks With Returns Four Times Better Than Peers

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Iraq Bonds Defy Risks With Returns Four Times Better Than Peers

By Aline Oyamada and Paula Sambo
February 18, 2018, 3:00 PM EST


Nation’s sovereign bonds deliver quadruple gains of peers

‘Iraq is not a broken country,’ says Galloway Capital


A member of the Iraqi forces walks past a mural bearing the logo of the Islamic State militants in the the southern outskirts of Mosul, Iraq.
Photographer: AHMAD AL-RUBAYE/AFP/Getty Images


Iraq’s political risk ranks among the highest in the world. A four-year war against the Islamic State left parts of entire cities in ruins. Corruption runs rampant.

And its debt produces returns quadruple the average of peers.

Wait, what?

Yes, we’re talking about Iraq, the shattered nation that was invaded by a U.S.-led coalition 15 years ago and is seeking $88 billion to rebuild and recover. Its political stability remains vulnerable to terrorism, sectarian and ethnic tension, according to Fitch Ratings, which nevertheless affirmed its stable outlook in December.

For all that, Iraq’s sovereign bonds have outperformed peers during the past year, buoyed by rising oil prices in a country that holds about 9 percent of the world’s proven crude reserves.

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