The initial public offer of shares in Saudi Arabia’s newest cellular licensee, Saudi Zain, attracted more than five million investors and was 151% oversubscribed. 5.05 million investors purchased 952 million shares worth a total of SAR9.52billion (USD2.5 billion), reported Arab News. Saudi Zain (originally known as Saudi MTC) won an auction for Saudi Arabia’s third national mobile licence in March 2007, beating off competition from the likes of Orascom Telecom (Egypt), MTN (South Africa), Turkcell (Turkey), Oger Telecom (UAE), Reliance (India), Bharti (India), MTNL (India) and Digicel (Jamaica) with its winning bid of SAR22.91 billion (USD6.11 billion). Its licence was formally awarded in June 2007 and the firm is expected to launch GSM services in the first half of this year. 30% of the cellco’s shares have been offered to the public, with Zain Group of Kuwait retaining a 25% interest.