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Zain prepares launch of IPO

20 Jun 2011

The Iraqi unit of Kuwaiti telecoms firm Zain Group is working on the launch of an initial public offering (IPO) on the Iraq Stock Exchange, Reuters reports, citing a company executive. Zain Iraq’s CEO, Emad Makiya, said the operator hoped to list on the bourse by August, as required under the terms of its licence agreement. Meanwhile, Kuwait Arabic daily al-Qabas cited an unnamed source as saying that the offering is expected to value a 20% stake at USD80 million, although Makiya said it was still too premature to place a value on the listing. According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, Zain Iraq – then known as Atheer Telecoms – launched commercial operations in March 2004 using GSM equipment supplied by Nokia. Zain Group was awarded one of three new 15-year national mobile concessions for USD1.25 billion, plus an 18.5% revenue-sharing agreement, in August 2007. The licence carries an obligation to launch an IPO within four years. Zain, which in March 2011 officially launched services in Kurdistan, is Iraq’s largest mobile operator by subscribers with a total 12.065 million users at the end of March 2011, equating to a market share of 51.8%.

Iraq, Zain Iraq

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