By John Lee.
Asiacell’s share sale has been fully subscribed before its closing date, according to the IPO’s organizer.
Shwan Ibrahim Taha, chairman of Rabee Securities, confirmed to Bloomberg News:
"The offering is now comfortably covered with a good mix of retail and institutional demand from within Iraq as well as institutional and high net worth demand from abroad."
Asiacell Chief Executive Officer, Diar Ahmed, told the news agency:
"Such big success will encourage other big entities to follow suit and will help the Iraq Stock Exchange attract more institutional investors into Iraq."
The $1.3-billion fund-raising is the most for an IPO in the MENA region since Saudi Arabian Mining's share sale more than four years ago, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
"Asiacell will force international skeptics to reconsider their views about the exchange and Iraqi equities, and potentially lead to increased investment," Geoffrey Batt, managing director of the $44 million Euphrates Iraq Fund, told Bloomberg.
Shares are due to start trading on the Iraq Stock Exchange on 3rd February.