Iraqi Mobile Phone Operators Appeal Against Fines

Iraq's three main mobile phone companies -- Zain, Asiacell and Korek -- have appealed against a communications regulator decision to fine them for failing to list on the local stock exchange, reports Reuters.

Iraq's Communications and Media Commission (CMC) fined the companies for missing the August 2011 deadline to list on the local bourse, which was a condition of their $1.25 billion operating licences.

In June the CMC fined Asiacell $8,500 per day since September 1, 2011, and fined Korek $2,500 per day. The following month it fined Zain $12,864 a day.

Ahmed Alomary, a CMC commissioner, said Asiacell and Korek had both paid the fine but also appealed the decision to an appeal body affiliated with the Iraqi Judiciary council.

Zain, which has an estimated 53 percent market share in Iraq, has not yet paid the fine; its Iraqi bank accounts have been frozen because of a previous unpaid fine for putting 5 million sim cards into the market without permission.

It has also appealed the fine related to the bourse listing, Alomary said.

He expects Asiacell shares to be traded in early 2013.

(Source: Reuters)

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