In May, the Rabee Securities Iraq Stock Exchange Index (RSISX Index) decreased by 1.9%, because the Bank of Baghdad, National Bank of Iraq, and Baghdad Soft Drinks, which have the highest weights in the index, recorded a decline in May which might be due to profit-taking following the considerable increase in their share prices in April. In May, the increase in the share prices of Commercial Bank of Iraq, Al-Mansour Bank, and Asiacell partially limited the decline in the RSISX index.

RSISX Total Return (RSISXTR) Index decreased just 0.3% in May with the contribution of the Bank of Baghdad’s IQD0.19 cash dividend per share; corresponding to a 4.6% dividend yield. In May, in addition to the Bank of Baghdad, two more companies decided to distribute dividends as follows; Iraqi Agricultural Products (dividend yield: 0.4%), and Al-Mashreq Al-Arabi Islamic Bank (the dividend yield cannot be calculated because the bank has not traded since its listing on the Iraq Stock Exchange (ISX)).

The total trading volume of the ISX decreased 31% in May compared to April, amounting to USD31.5 million. The banking sector obtained the highest share in trading volume with 79.1%, followed by the telecom sector (7.1% share), hotels & tourism sector (6.7% share), industry sector (4.3% share), agriculture sector (1.7% share), and services sector (1.1% share).

28 companies’ share prices increased in May, 14 of which increased by more than 5.0%, while 8 increased by more than 10.0%. Gulf Commercial Bank increased the most going up by 141.2% during May, followed by Baghdad for Packing Materials with a 33.3% increase.

If we look at other developments in May, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) concluded the Article IV consultation with Iraq on May 13. The IMF noted that since the new government took office in October 2022, domestic stability in Iraq has improved. This stability enabled the approval of a significant three-year budget, starting in 2023, which involves considerable fiscal expansion. The ongoing fiscal expansion is expected to boost growth in 2024, at the expense of a further deterioration of fiscal and external accounts and Iraq’s vulnerability to oil price fluctuations. Separately, on May 31, the Security Council extended the mandate of the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) for a final 19 month-period until December 31, 2025, while PM Mohammed S. Al-Sudani said this decision does not mean a break with the United Nations and specialized international agencies.