MARKET RESEARCH Banking & Finance

The banking sector in Kurdistan has attracted around one sixth of the total capital investment in the region (around $380 million). Most banks are commercial banks, with a focus on consumer banking. Islamic banking is also well desired in the region as Kurdish citizens are just beginning to learn about banking and are initially cautious when putting a third party in charge of their savings. However, the rise in both local and foreign companies is undoubtedly increasing demand for Corporate Banking services such as corporate loans, asset management and treasury advisory.

The KRG has repeatedly expressed its intentions to establish a regional stock market, the Erbil Stock Exchange. The setting up of an exchange will certainly ensure continued growth and development of financial institutions in the region.

Moreover, it is worth noting that the insurance market in the region lacks private companies. The insurance market is expected to steadily grow in parallel to the banking sector, thus allowing financial institutions and investors to confidently minimize risks and maintain a stable investment environment.
Some Iraqi state-run banks are currently expanding into Kurdistan such as Rafidain Bank and Rasheed Bank. Other banks are local and privately owned like the Kurdistan International Bank for Investment and Development (listed on the Iraqi Exchange) and Emerald Bank. Additionally, some foreign banks are also expanding into the Region. Lebanese banks present in Kurdistan include Byblos Bank, Intercontinental Bank of Lebanon and Credit Libanais.