Zain Iraq unit plans shares listing
Mobile telecom firm Zain Iraq is still expected to list its shares on the Iraq Stock Exchange (ISX) later this year but is at least several months off from being able to do so, the bourse’s chief executive said.
First the company, 76-per cent owned by Kuwait’s Zain and is Iraq’s biggest mobile operator by market share, must publish its financial results for 2013 and hold a shareholders’ meeting to approve the listing plan.
And then there are other steps that need to be taken, ISX’s chief executive Taha Al Rubaye said on the sidelines of a conference in Dubai.
“I don’t think they will (complete) all the requirements before two or three months or maybe four, it may be more,” said Rubaye. “I believe they will do it this year, but I don’t know when.”
Zain Iraq, and its two rivals in the Iraqi market, Asiacell and Orange affiliate Korek, all missed a 2011 deadline to float a quarter of their shares on the ISX under the terms of their $1.25 billion network licences.
Asiacell, majority-owned by Qatar’s Ooredoo, subsequently joined the ISX in February 2013 after raising $1.27bn in a public share sale.
But Zain Iraq put back its sale from the first quarter of last year to the end of 2013 and most recently said it would list in the first half of 2014, with the initial public share offer expected to raise more than $1bn.
Last year Zain set up a joint stock company, Al Khatem, to hold its Iraqi business, a prerequisite to list on the ISX, and said yesterday that the preparatory steps for the flotation were “progressing well”.
“We are confident of listing Al Khatem during the course of 2014,” the company said.
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