Zain Iraq Plans IPO by July

John Lee.

Zain Iraq's Chief Financial Officer, Wael Ghanayem (pictured), has told Bloomberg that the company plans to list 25 percent of its shares on the Iraq Stock Exchange  (ISX) by the end of June.

But Geoffrey Batt, managing director of the $44 million Euphrates Iraq Fund, told the news agency:

A more realistic estimate is Zain will be positioned to list about six months after they convert to a joint stock company ... At the moment, they need to overcome too many procedural hurdles to list by June 30.

The share sale plan follows the successful IPO of rival Asiacell, which started trading in Baghdad earlier this month.

Zain Iraq is in the final stages of converting into a shareholding company, and has hired Citigroup, National Bank of Kuwait and BNP Paribas as advisers for the offering. The company’s profit climbed 6 percent in 2012 to $369 million and it expects “double-digit” growth this year, Ghanayem said.

Korek Telecom, part-owned by France Telecom, must also sell 25 percent of its shares on the bourse to comply with it license requirement.

(Source: Bloomberg)

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