AFP
Last updated: 26 December, 2012

Iraqi mobile firm aims to raise $1.23 billion in IPO

Iraq’s second-biggest mobile operator Asiacell aims to raise $1.23 billion in an initial public offering next month, it said, after pressure from Baghdad’s media regulator to be listed on the bourse.

The firm, in which Qatar Telecom holds a majority stake, and Iraq’s two other mobile phone companies — Kuwait’s Zain and Korek, in which France Telecom and Kuwait’s Agility Logistics have stakes — were fined for failing to issue IPOs on the Iraq Stock Exchange, Zain said in July.

The company said in a statement on its website on Tuesday that the share offer is expected to be among “the biggest … in the Middle East region in the past year.”

Asiacell will offer 67.503 billion shares, representing 25 percent of the total share capital, at a price of at least 22 Iraqi dinars (1.8 US cents) per share when the offer opens on January 3.

“This is another step closer to our share offer which is a significant development for us as a company,” said Asiacell managing director Faruk Rasool.

Asiacell is the second-biggest mobile phone company in Iraq by subscribers, with 9.9 million, after Zain, which says it has more than 12 million customers.