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CEO profile: Shwan Taha, Rabee Securities
05 January 2012
Twenty five years of war and sanctions have devastated the Iraq economy – but for Shwan Taha, chairman of Baghdad-based Rabee Securities, now is the perfect time to invest in a nation that is rebuilding from scratch. Aaron Woolner reports
How did you end up running an Iraqi business?
I had worked in emerging/frontier market asset management initially as part of Mark Mobius’ Templeton emerging markets team and then at Soros. In 2008 I came back to Iraq and took over Rabee Securities, a small local brokerage dealing with retail investors on the Iraq stock exchange that I had acquired previously.
Since then we have tried to model it on fund management best practice. The question I asked myself was ‘when I used to invest in frontier markets, like Egypt, Pakistan and the GCC, what did I want to see in my broker?’
There has been rapid change in the Iraqi market subsequently – in 2008 it opened to foreign investors and in 2009 it moved away from its chalk and board origins.
What changes need to happen on the stock market to foster Iraqi economic development?
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