Bloomberg News

Iraq’s Asiacell Selects HSBC, Morgan Stanley for IPO

October 12, 2011

(Updates with comment from third paragraph.)

Oct. 12 (Bloomberg) -- Iraq’s Asiacell, an affiliate of Qatar Telecom QSC, selected HSBC Holdings Plc and Morgan Stanley to manage an initial public offering on the Iraqi bourse, Chief Executive Officer Diar Ahmed said.

He said the company will offer 25 percent of its shares, declining to give a timeframe.

“The company as a whole will be listed and we will offer 25 percent of shares to the public,” he said in a telephone interview today. Asiacell is in talks with Iraqi authorities to complete the listing procedures and set a timeframe, he said.

The company should also convert from a limited liability company to a shareholding company before listing on the stock exchange, according to regulations.

Mobile Telecommunications Co., Kuwait’s biggest mobile- phone company, also known as Zain, as well as Asiacell, and Korek Telecom, part-owned by France Telecom SA, were due to trade 25 percent of their shares on the Iraq Stock Exchange by the end of August, according to their licenses.

The three companies will be fined for missing the Aug. 31 deadline, Salim Mashkour, a member of the trustee board of Iraq’s Communications and Media Commission, said yesterday.

“We have heard that there won’t be fines, as this would not be helpful for the process,” Ahmed said.

Iraq has 23 million mobile-phone subscribers, according to an Oct. 5 statement by the Communications and Media Commission.

--Editors: Peter Branton, Tim Farrand

To contact the reporters on this story: Nayla Razzouk in Amman at nrazzouk2@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Inal Ersan at iersan@bloomberg.net


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