Zain Iraq Aims for IPO by Early 2013

By John  Lee.

Zain Iraq plans to finally go ahead with its stock market listing by early 2013 at the latest, according to a report from Reuters.

Hisham Akbar (pictured), Zain's deputy chief executive and chief operating officer, told reporters on Tuesday that the company still needs to convert to a joint stock company in preparation for the float.

"We are hoping for the last quarter of this year (to IPO), but the joint (stock) company got delayed," he said.

The company was fined $12,864 per day for missing the IPO deadline, but Akbar expects an appeal against this penalty to be heard by year-end.

"The total (fine) we envisioned as a worst case scenario if we list (in the) first-quarter (of 2013) is around $4 million," he said.

He added that Zain Iraq would most probably opt for a single listing on the Iraq bourse, but said they have also considered listings in London and Jordan.

If the IPO is fully subscribed, Kuwaiti telecom group Zain's shareholding in Zain Iraq would fall from 76 percent to 51 percent.

In 2011, Nomura gave Zain Iraq an enterprise value (equity plus debt) of $4.9 billion and Asiacell $4.4 billion.

(Source: Reuters)

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