Asiacell's $1.35bn IPO fully subscribed

Iraq's first major issue in a decade passes muster; all 67.5bn shares sold
Asiacell was the first of Iraq's operators to stage an IPO.
Asiacell was the first of Iraq's operators to stage an IPO.

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Iraqi operator Asiacell's $1.35 billion IPO, involving a quarter of the company's share capital, was fully subscribed, the Iraq Stock Exchange said yesterday.

In the country's first major share offering since the US-led invasion of 2003, Asiacell, 67.5bn shares were issued and Taha Abdulsalam, CEO of the exchange, told Reuters that orders had been received for all of them.

Reuters also reported that some local shareholders were seeking to reduce holdings through the issue, but Qatar Telecom (Qtel) is expected to make a move to increase its 53.9% stake through the offering.

The offering was regarded as a test of investor confidence in Iraq's economy following years of war, political upheaval and economic sanctions. The exchange did not reveal the breakdown of orders or how many had come from international or local sources.

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