Zain Iraq pushes ahead with IPO

Investment bank appointed to oversee deal
IPO, Iraq, Zain

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Zain Group has announced the appointment of an Iraqi investment bank to lead the initial public offering (IPO) for Zain Iraq, raising expectations that the IPO may go ahead soon.

Melak Iraq and Rabee securities will oversee the long-awaited IPO, which may now take place as early as June.

“We chose to appoint Melak Iraq and Rabee Securities as the leading adviser and broker because of their track record and because we need on-the-ground advisory and support in Iraq,” said Saif Altimen, the head of investor relations at Zain Iraq.

Melak Investments, run by the Iraq-born former Franklin Templeton asset manager Shwan Taha, will spearhead the public share sale of

Zain Iraq, according to sources familiar with the matter.
In June 2013, Zain said that it was setting up a holding company, named Al-Khatem Communications, which would offer 55.9 million shares priced at IQD1 (USD0.00085) each.

Zain Iraq has previously said it expects to raise over $1 billion from the IPO, and that the offering will mainly attract wealthy private investors.

The only Iraqi mobile operator to have successfully staged an IPO to date is Ooredoo-backed Asiacell, which did so in February 2013.

The fully-subscribed USD1.27 billion share sale was said to represent Iraq’s largest ever flotation.

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