Morgan Stanley to "Drop Out of Asiacell’s Iraqi IPO"

By John Lee.

According to a report from Bloomberg, Morgan Stanley is no longer a bookrunner for the IPO (initial public offering) of Asiacell, the Iraqi telecom operator majority-owned by Qatar Telecom (QTEL).

A person with knowledge of the discussions told the news agency that, while Morgan Stanley is still an adviser on the deal, the company will not manage Asiacell’s share sale because it does not have a client base inside Iraq, where most of the demand for this IPO is expected.

The sale of a 25 percent stake in Asiacell could raise as much as $1 billion, making it the biggest ever in the country, and doubling the market capitalization of the Iraq Stock Exchange.

Rabee Securities, a Baghdad-based brokerage, is also managing Asiacell’s IPO.

A London-based official at Morgan Stanley declined to comment, as did a Qtel spokesman.

(Source: Bloomberg)

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