Asiacell, the Iraqi mobile subsidiary of Qatar Telecom (Qtel), will launch its initial public offering (IPO) on 3 January 2013, Reuters cites a company spokesperson as saying. The cellco aims to sell 25% of its stock in the IPO and will list on the Iraq Stock Exchange (ISX) on 3 February. According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, under the terms of their operating licences, Iraq’s three national mobile operators were required to float their capital on the ISX within four years, as the bourse was not ready to handle the listings when the concessions were handed out in 2007. In March 2009 the government reiterated the operators’ obligation to list around 25% of their shares, in a move that could triple the value of shares on the stock market to over USD6 billion. With progress proving to be painfully slow, in June this year Iraq’s Communications and Media Commission (CMC) revealed that it would fine the country’s mobile operators for their failure to list their shares on the ISX by the August 2011 deadline. Asiacell received preliminary approval from the stock market regulator to launch it sale share in August this year.
In other news, Asiacell and Sweden’s Ericsson have announced a three-year contract which will see the Iraqi operator utilising Ericsson’s Charging & Billing in One (CBIO) system. Under the agreement, Ericsson will carry out systems integration and provide business transformation consultancy services.