Zain Iraq Planning Stock Market Launch

Zain's Iraq subsidiary is preparing for an initial public offering (IPO) on the Iraq Stock Exchange that will raise an estimated $80 million [96 billion Iraqi dinars] for a 20% stake, the Kuwait Arabic daily al-Qabas reports.

As a condition of its operating licence, the company is required to list its shares on the Iraqi stock exchange within four years of receiving the license. Under that condition, the listing will have to take place by August.

"We are working on this process. The process for the listing is long. We hope that we can meet the deadline," Emad Makiya, CEO of Zain Iraq, told Reuters. "This is a part of the licence requirement and we're going to fulfil it."

"Officials in Iraq will be informed about Zain's readiness and (the firm will) enquire whether or not the current time is appropriate for the economy," said Kuwait Arabic daily al-Qabas.

Zain Iraq recently raised US$400 million in a 7-year debt facility to help fund its network expansion in the country.

Zain Iraq provides a multitude of mobile voice and data services to 12 million customers, representing over 50 percent of the country's mobile phone market.

(Sources: Reuters, al-Qabas)

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