Trade Bank of Iraq appoints Salem Chalabi as chairman and president

Mr Chalabi will replace Faisal Al Haimus effective immediately following a directive from the Iraqi prime minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi

Trade Bank of Iraq's president and chairman Salem Chalabi has extensive experience in Iraqi government policies and was involved in drafrting the country's constitution after 2013. Courtesy of Trade Bank of Iraq 

State-owned Trade Bank of Iraq (TBI) appointed Salem Chalabi as chairman and president as the lender proceeds with a three-year expansion plan to diversify its operations.

Mr Chalabi, a Yale University graduate, will replace Faisal Al Haimus with immediate effect following the directive of Iraqi prime minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi, Trade Bank of Iraq said in a statement on Sunday.

"I look forward to implementing a strategy that will allow TBI to achieve sustainable growth and continue building on the strong and solid foundations laid by the bank in the past years," Mr Chalabi said. "We will continue to ... develop the bank’s operations to support our country’s economic development."

Mr Chalabi brings to the role years of experience in business development, strategic planning and forming Iraqi government policies, including involvement in drafting the new Iraqi constitution after 2003. He was appointed General Director of the Iraqi Special Tribunal for Crimes against Humanity in 2004 and worked as an adviser to former Iraqi prime minister Adel Abdul Mahdi.

In February, the country's largest trade financing institution reported a 68 per cent increase in full-year net profit on the back of higher revenue. Net profit for the period ending December 31 climbed to $556 million (Dh2 billion) while revenue for the period rose 12 per cent year-on-year to $673m. The bank's total assets grew 27 per cent to $29bn.

The lender, which was established in 2003, has 26 branches across Iraq and plans to expand into new markets.

TBI is set to open its first overseas branch when it begins operations in Saudi Arabia later this year. The bank is also planning to upgrade its Abu Dhabi office, which opened in 2017, to an asset management company and will open a representative office in China as well.

The lender is currently working on expanding its network domestically and internationally to diversify its sources of revenue as it aims to grow at a compound annual rate of 30 per cent over the next three years.

Established with the aim of helping the reconstruction of Iraq by facilitating international trade after the end of the United Nations' oil-for-food programme, Baghdad-based TBI has grown rapidly and conducts approximately 80 per cent of the trade finance business in the country.