Zain Group’s Iraqi holding company Al-Khatem, which holds 100% of local wireless provider Zain Iraq, has completed its first day of trading on the Iraqi bourse, the Kuwaiti firm confirmed today. 25% of Al-Khatem’s shares were offered on the Iraq Stock Exchange (ISX) yesterday, with the share price averaging at IQD6.09 (USD0.005) and closing at IQD5.99, reflecting a market capitalisation for the holding company of IQD10.96 trillion. According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, Zain Iraq was required to list 25% of its shares on the ISX by 31 August 2011 under the terms of its 15-year national mobile concession but it was not until April 2015 that any tangible progress was reported. At that date it was revealed that the cellco had submitted applications to the relevant authorities for permission to list on the ISX.
Commenting on the offer, Al-Katem’s managing director Bader Al Kharafi said: ‘We look forward to the participation of the investor community in one of the most profitable and resilient companies in Iraq and the region, as the mobile operator enters a new phase in its growth strategy with the recent launching of 3G services across the country…We are confident that Zain Iraq will further grow its market leadership position rewarding all the company’s stakeholders.’