Iraq mobile firm debuts on Baghdad bourse
Market watch top headlines
BAGHDAD, Feb 3 AFP
February 03 2013, 11:03PM
Iraq's second largest mobile operator debuted on the Baghdad bourse on Sunday, in the country's first major stock flotation and after pressure from the media regulator for it to be publicly listed.
Asiacell, which is majority-owned by Qatar Telecom, offered 67.503 billion shares, representing 25 per cent of the total share capital, according to a statement on the Iraq Stock Exchange (ISX).
It said in a January 24 statement that "demand for its shares... is high amongst ordinary Iraqis and professional investors alike" and claimed at the time that its initial public offering was the biggest ever in Iraq, and the largest in the Middle East since 2008.
The firm and Iraq's two other mobile phone companies - Kuwait's Zain and Korek, in which France Telecom and Kuwait's Agility Logistics have stakes - were fined for failing to issue IPOs on the ISX, Zain said in July.
Asiacell is the second biggest cell phone firm in Iraq by subscribers, with 9.9 million, after Zain which says it has more than 12 million customers.