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Capital Bank says it's business as usual in Mosul

Capital Bank: Iraq's main issue isn't ISIS

The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) may be gaining ground across Syria and Iraq but the Chairman of Jordan's Capital Bank, Bassem Al-Salem, says it's business as usual.

"ISIS are in Mosul and we are hearing a lot about them," the Al-Salem told CNBC.

"(But) we have a branch in Mosul and we feel that it is not affecting the lifestyle of the people or the business transaction...we don't feel it, let's put it this way."

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Al-Salem's Capital Bank holds a 72 percent stake in National Bank of Iraq with several branches in-country, including the one in ISIS-run Mosul.

"We are not doing any commercial banking but the bank is open for depositors to take their deposits if they want to do that," Al-Salem tells CNBC. "some have done so and others have decided to keep it in the bank."

A burned car in Mosul, Iraq.
Anadolu Agency | Getty Images

Based in Amman, Jordan, Capital Bank has long been a hub for investors looking to cash in on the Iraqi market. Al-Salem says things on the ground are not as bad as they are portrayed in the media and that the Islamic State lacks the capacity to administer the town. Asked if he feels ISIS-held areas are lost for good, Al-Salem says he doesn't buy it.

"The main issue that we feel now in Iraq is the lack of liquidity," he says. "Up north (a region with IS-controlled areas) people [are] not getting their salaries on time and this is affecting the growth and the momentum that we [witnessed] a couple of years back."

His comments come amidst reports that ISIS militants had once again extended their territorial gains, seizing both the Iraqi city of Ramadi and the ancient city of Palmyra in Syria.

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Despite ISIS' progress, Al-Bassem says he remains bullish on Iraq echoing King Abdullah of Jordan's comments this week.

"Iraq has always been a very strong market for us," Abdullah told CNBC.

"I believe that the Iraqi government, with the coalition forces, are going to open the route between Amman and Baghdad this summer. That is a very strong market that is going to be reopened."

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