Iraq Oil Report's Daily Brief compiles the most important news and analysis about Iraq from around the web.

ISX seeks broader investor, add liquidity

Nayla Razzouk and Khalid al-Ansary report for Bloomberg News:

The Iraqi bourse is asking local companies to list shares and depositary receipts in London and New York to attract investors and increase volumes, the bourse’s chief executive officer said.

“We are encouraging our companies” to list on the London Stock Exchange (LSE) or the Nasdaq Stock Market “to allow shareholders to turn some of their shares into global depositary receipts or American depositary receipts,” CEO Taha Ahmed Abdul Salam al-Rubaye said in Baghdad yesterday. Exchange officials held meetings with Bank of New York Mellon regarding ADRs, he said.

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Baghdad sees red once again — double-deckers, that is

Sammy Ketz and W.G. Dunlop report for AFP:

Common across Baghdad in years past, red double-decker buses are again plying the Iraqi capital's traffic-choked streets after many were ransacked in the years of unrest following the 2003 invasion.

The brand-new red buses with long white and black stripes on their sides began limited operations on Saturday, making halting progress amid masses of taxis and pedestrians in central Baghdad.

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Iraq to buy 3M tons of wheat as production drops

Khalid al-Ansary and Nayla Razzouk report for Bloomberg News:

Iraq expects its wheat production to fall this year by as much as 16 percent to 1.5 million metric tons because of a drought, forcing it to boost imports to 3 million tons, said Grain Board Director General Hassan Ibrahim.

“Unfortunately, there is a drought this year in the northern provinces,” Ibrahim said in an interview in Baghdad. “Last year production was around 1.78 million tons. This year we expect it to be between 1.5 and 1.6 million tons.”

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Genel Kurdistan well results inconclusive

Reuters reports:

Gulf Keystone Petroleum and Genel Energy said results from the first exploration well on the Ber Bahr block in Iraq's autonomous northern Kurdish region were inconclusive, and the companies could not say whether it was commercially viable.

The well will be temporarily suspended while a work over rig is moved to the location to conduct an extended well test, the British oil companies said.

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Lukoil looks for Asian West Qurna partner

RIA Novosti reports:

Russia’s largest privately-held oil company, LUKoil, is holding talks with several bidders for participation in Iraq’s West Qurna-2 project, LUKoil Vice-President Leonid Fedun said on Monday.

“We are holding talks with several potential bidders, including Asian firms. I believe we may get positive news by the end of this year,” Fedun said at a company presentation for investors in Hong Kong.

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Microsoft names first Iraq distributor

Sinan Salaheddin reports for The Associated Press:

Microsoft Corp. said Monday it has appointed a local company to distribute its products in Iraq, calling the move a sign of progress for the country.

Microsoft's manager of Business Development for Emerging Markets, Rajai S. El-Khadem, said the software giant had chosen the Baghdad-based Legend Lands Co. as its Iraqi partner.

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Millions in global aid for Iraq sits unspent

Lara Jakes report for The Associated Press:

Outside the crumbling elementary school, goats feed on trash strewn across the front yard. Inside, the ceiling is rotting, toilets don't work and students scrunch hip-to-hip behind narrow desks.

Millions of dollars in international aid to build and repair Iraq's dilapidated schools have for years gone unspent. Now, Iraq's government risks losing the funding as the World Bank weighs whether some of it would be better used elsewhere.

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Iraq forces on high alert after Syria border clashes

AFP reports:

Iraqi security forces were on high alert for several hours until Sunday morning following clashes between the Syrian army and rebel forces near the border, officers said.

From 11:00 pm (2000 GMT) on Saturday until Sunday morning, Iraqi forces were on their highest level of alert in the area surrounding the village of Albu Kamal, on the Iraq-Syria border.

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Russian bikers believed spies await exit visa

The Moscow Times reports:

Four Russian bikers jailed for five days after entering Iraq without valid visas were stranded at the Russian Embassy in Baghdad over the weekend as they waited for paperwork allowing them to leave the country.

The bikers obtained fake visas from an organization posing as a travel agency, Russian officials said.

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Iraq bomb injures 24 Pakistani pilgrims

Mazin Yahya reports for The Associated Press:

Iraqi officials say a roadside bomb blast outside Baghdad has injured 24 Pakistani pilgrims. Their bus overturned as it headed to a Shiite shrine.

Police say the bomb exploded Sunday evening as the bus was passing by the predominantly Sunni suburb of Saqlawiyah, located 75 kilometers (45 miles) west of Baghdad.

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