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Mobile operators unlikely to list until mid-2012, regulator says

7 Oct 2011

Iraq’s Communications and Media Commission (CMC) has said that the country’s three national mobile operators are unlikely to offer their shares on the local bourse until mid-2012, Reuters reports. Kuwaiti-owned Zain Iraq, Asiacell, which is part-owned by Qatar Telecom (Qtel), and Korek, part-owned by France Telecom, were all required to list 25% of their shares on the Iraq Stock Exchange (ISX) by 31 August 2011 under the terms of their 15-year national mobile concessions. The licences were awarded in August 2007 for USD1.25 billion each. While all three operators failed to list on the bourse by the end of August 2011, the CMC has now said that the trio will not face sanctions for missing the deadline. All three companies have yet to change from limited to shareholding companies, the first main step towards going public on the local bourse.

In a separate but related story, Asiacell has announced it has paid USD375 million to the CMC, representing the final payment towards its USD1.25 billion mobile licence.

Iraq, Asiacell, Korek Telecom, Zain Iraq

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