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Standard Chartered begins banking in Iraq

Baghdad: British lender Standard Chartered launched banking operations in Iraq on Wednesday, saying it hoped to benefit from large infrastructure projects in a country trying to rebuild after years of conflict.

Standard Chartered is one of a small number of foreign banks with operations in Iraq, which is seeing rapid economic growth fuelled by oil production but also its worst upsurge in sectarian violence in at least five years.

The security concerns and a complex regulatory and political environment have put some international firms off doing business there. HSBC is trying to exit Iraq by selling its stake in Dar Es Salaam Investment Bank.