(MENAFN - Aswat Al-Iraq) The Iraqi Stock Exchange (ISX) index rose slightly by 0.1% to close at 128.7 points as rates of shares of 16 out of a total 43 traded firms went up with a trading volume exceeding 2.6 billion Iraqi dinars (roughly 2.2 million).
More than 1.503 billion shares worth 2.686 billion dinars exchanged hands through 517 deals with rates of shares of 12 companies going into the red while 15 retained their previous levels," according to an ISX news bulletin received by Aswat al-Iraq news agency.
Non-Iraqi investors obtained 147 purchase deals worth 1.503 billion dinars (59%), mostly over the banking, industrial and service sectors, and 13 sale deals worth 166 million dinars over the banking and hotel sectors.
The banking sector took the lead with the 56% of the overall trading activities through 182 deals worth 1.598 billion dinars over 13 firms, followed by the industrial sector with 20% through 178 deals worth 541 million dinars over 13 firms and the service sector with 15% through 107 deals worth 418 million dinars over seven firms.
Trading was modest over the hotel, agricultural, insurance and investment sectors.
The ISX was incorporated and began operations in June 2004.
It operates under the oversight of the Iraq Securities Commission, an independent commission modeled after the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
Before the 2003 invasion of Iraq, it was called the Baghdad Stock Exchange and was operated by the Iraqi Ministry of Finance.
Now it is a self-regulated organization similar to the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), owned by the 50 or so member brokerages.
As of 2005, the ISX was Iraq's only stock exchange.
It opened in 2004 with 15 companies, and now lists more than 100 companies.
Turnover of shares in 2005 was approximately 5 million per trading session.
The ISX now holds five sessions from Sunday to Thursday.