Bloomberg News

Iraq’s Korek Telecom Seeks Banks to Manage Offering, CEO Says

October 12, 2011

Oct. 12 (Bloomberg) -- Korek Telecom, part-owned by France Telecom SA, is in talks with banks to manage an initial public offering on the Iraqi bourse, Chief Executive Officer Ghada Gebara said, declining to name them.

“We are working on the issue and our information is confidential at the moment,” she said in a telephone interview today.

According to their licences, Korek along with Mobile Telecommunications Co., Kuwait’s biggest mobile-phone company, also known as Zain, as well as Asiacell, an affiliate of Qatar Telecom QSC, were due to trade 25 percent of their shares on the Iraq Stock Exchange by the end of August.

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

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.

“Fining us is not going to accelerate this thing, on the contrary, it’s going to create more issues and will also put pressure on the value of the company,” Gebara said.

Iraq has 23 million mobile-phone subscribers, according to the Communications and Media Commission.

--With assistance from Nayla Razzouk in Amman. Editors: Peter Branton, Tim Farrand

To contact the reporters on this story: Khalid Al Ansary in Baghdad, through the Dubai newsroom contact the editor responsible for this story: Riad Hamade at rhamade@bloomberg.net


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