* Mobile operator to list 25 percent stake
* To offer shares in London and Kazakhstan
* Credit Suisse and UBS appointed to run sale
(Updates with sources, adds background)
By Kylie MacLellan and Megan Davies
LONDON/MOSCOW, Nov 5 Kcell, Kazakhstan's biggest
mobile operator, plans to list in Kazakhstan and London by the
end of the year and has appointed banks to run the process,
sources close to the deal said.
Nordic telecoms group TeliaSonera agreed last year
to buy a 49 percent stake in Kcell for $1.52 billion and said it
planned to float a quarter of the company's shares.
Kcell could begin marketing the initial public offering
(IPO) next week, one of the sources said on Monday, while
another said it was aiming for a market debut in December. A
third source said it could list before the end of the year.
The offering could compete for investor attention with
Russia's second biggest mobile operator MegaFon, which has
delayed a planned London listing until after its third-quarter
financial results, due in early November.
It is possible MegaFon's sale could still be held back until
January however, IFR, a Thomson Reuters publication, reported
last week, citing bankers involved in the deal.
Credit Suisse and UBS are advising on
Kcell's planned offering, two of the sources said.
Kazakh investment bank Visor Capital is also working on the
listing, the Kazakhstan Stock Exchange said in a statement,
confirming that Kcell had made an application to list its shares
on the local stock market.
Visor Capital and Kcell both declined to comment.
The sources did not say how much the company hoped to raise
from the sale, but the Financial Times reported it was seeking
as much as 500 million pounds ($802 million).
This would be around the level the company was valued at
when TeliaSonera, which also owns a minority stake in MegaFon,
bought its 49 percent stake.
While European telecoms stocks have fallen in value this
year, with the European telecom index down about 7.2
percent year-to-date, emerging market-focussed telecoms
companies have fared better.
New-York listed Russian providers Vimpelcom and MTS
have seen their shares rise around 16 percent and 15
percent respectively since the start of the year.
Kcell, the leading mobile operator in Kazakhstan by market
share in terms of revenue and subscribers, had 12.7 million
subscribers at the end of the third quarter.
A spokeswoman for TeliaSonera referred Reuters to its third
quarter statement that preparations for a public listing of
Kcell were continuing and declined to comment further.
($1 = 0.6235 pound)
(Additional reporting by Robin Paxton in Almaty, Simon Johnson
in Stockholm, Leila Abboud in Paris and Natalie Huet in London;
Editing by Marguerita Choy and Mark Potter)