>> It is not an obvious investment opportunity. Iraq still recovering from over 30 years of conflict and the battle against Islamic militancy. But now it just might be the place for bold investors to put their billions. The country, which has huge oil reserves, started marketing a $1 billion bond Wednesday, its first independent debt sale in a decade.
Reuters is watching the markets from Dubai.>> Iraq is in extreme need of external financing. The one billion bond that they're raising is just that drop in the ocean in terms of the budget's deficit of the country. At the moment, just for 2017, the country has a budget deficit of over $20 billion.
It really needs to raise financing from multilateral and development finance institutions but also from commercial and bond investors.>> The war torn country may offer alluring profits to emerging markets investors. Initial price guidance for the bond promised interest of about 7%. That's many times what you get on any debt from a major developed country.
Fund managers say Iraq actually looks good compared to other strife-battered emerging markets, like Ukraine. With major backing from international donors it isn't about to go bust, but risks are bound. Iraq's spring parliamentary elections could see new political instability and Islamic State is still not fully vanquished. Iraq's bond buyers will need strong nerves.