Ex-Hedgie Brings Iraqi Stocks To U.S. Shores

Jun 16 2009 | 2:08am ET

A former hedge fund manager is helping to open Iraq’s capital markets to U.S. institutional investors.

Shwan Ibrahim Taha, who once worked for hedge fund honcho George Soros, has teamed with New York brokerage Auerbach Grayson to offer research on and trading of companies listed on the Iraq Stock Exchange in Baghdad, the Financial Times reports. Taha’s Rabee Securities is based in the Iraqi capital.

The deal with Rabee makes Auerbach Grayson the first non-Iraqi firm to offer Iraqi securities since the U.S.-led invasion of the country five years ago. The ISE is to implement fully electronic trading by the end of the month.

“The laws with respect to capital markets are liberal compared to the countries nearby,” Taha, also a former senior fund manager at Templeton Asset Management, told the FT. “But the problems have been logistics and security.”

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