StanChart Is Expanding in Iraq as Safety Improves
Khalid Al-Ansary and Bruce Stanley
May 7, 2019, 9:01 AM EDT
Updated on May 7, 2019, 5:00 PM EDT
Standard Chartered to open its third branch in Iraq next year
Expansion hints at brighter prospects for war-torn OPEC state
Standard Chartered Plc is reviving stalled plans to open a third branch in Iraq amid what the bank sees as a dramatic improvement in security in the OPEC nation.
The U.K.-based lender expects to open the branch for corporate customers in the southern oil hub of Basra in the first half of 2020. It wants to finance projects to upgrade electricity, oil and other vital infrastructure and plans to sign about $500 million in deals by early next year.
“We have witnessed international companies decreasing their security requirements and risk levels.”
Standard Chartered doesn’t offer retail banking services in Iraq, and the Basra branch will cater to businesses.