Announcing this on Saturday, the bank's president Husayn al-Uzri said discussions were on for securing more credit facilities.

"We have signed deals with 17 foreign export credit agencies with a total of $2.4 billion to guarantee Iraq government imports," Uzri said during a visit to Kuwait.

The agencies represent 16 countries including the US, UK, Germany, Italy and Japan among others.

"We are also in the final stages of signing a credit facilities agreement with the Inter-Arab Export Guarantees Organisation," he added.

Nascent bank

The bank was established by the US-led occupation authority in Iraq last July and began operation in December.

The bank, entirely run by Iraqi staff, is supported by a consortium of 12 international banks led by JP Morgan.

Kuwait's largest bank, National Bank of Kuwait, is one of the four operating consortium partners and the only Arab bank in the alliance.

Muhammad Bahr al-Ulum, member of the US-installed Iraqi Governing Council, said the main Iraqi banks had gone bankrupt and that their overall debts exceeded $24 billion.