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Zain Hires Bankers Ahead of Iraqi Stock Market Listing

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The Iraqi arm of Zain has hired an investment bank as the company moves closer to its long delayed stock market listing.

The mobile networks are required to list a quarter of their shares on the local stock market as a condition of the operating licenses they were granted in 2007. However, so far only Asiacell has met that requirement

Zain Iraq which is majority owned by the Kuwait based parent has hired Melak Iraq and Rabee Securities as the leading adviser and broker for the listing.

It has however also delayed its listing again until later this year. It had been expected around the middle of the year.

The main concern has long been that the Iraqi stock market is still very small, and already dominated by the Asiacell listing. Adding Zain, and eventually Korek could lead to a top-heavy stock market that is too heavily dependent on the telecoms industry. Which is an odd situation for a petrochemical dominated economy to find itself in.

Zain is also currently fighting a potential USD4.5 billion lawsuit that stemmed from its 2007 investment in the country from an aggrieved shareholder. That case appears to have gone quiet through since it was announced last month.

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Tags: zain  Iraq