Iraqi telco Asiacell shares surge on bourse debut

BAGHDAD Mon Feb 4, 2013 2:17am EST

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BAGHDAD Feb 4 (Reuters) - Shares in Iraqi mobile telephone operator Asiacell jumped the maximum 10 percent on their Baghdad bourse debut on Monday after investors in the company raised $1.24 billion in Iraq's largest-ever share offer.

The shares were trading at 24.2 dinars at 0707 GMT on the Iraq Stock Exchange (ISX). A total of 780,000 shares had changed hands as of that time. The shares are allowed to trade within a 10 percent range up or down, according to bourse rules.

In a public offer that closed on Sunday, investors in Asiacell - majority-owned by Qatar Telecom (Qtel) - sold 67.5 billion shares at 22.0 Iraqi dinars each, offloading a quarter of the company's share capital.

It was the first big share offer in Iraq since the U.S.-led invasion of 2003, and largest equity offer in the Middle East since 2008.

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