Egypt's Mobinil in focus on possible free float hike

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Egyptian cellphone operator Mobinil, the third-largest telco by market capitalisation, will be in focus on bets it would list more shares on the exchange.

Mobinil's CEO said the company is looking to raise its free float in Egypt to 15 percent from the current 1 percent and would prefer to do so by selling shares to the wider market to meet ownership rules.

"It's very challenging to raise money in Egypt even if it's a high-profile name like Mobinil - they would need to give a big discount," says Sebastien Henin, portfolio manager at The National Investor.

France Telecom owns 94 percent of Mobinil, which it acquired in May last year at 202 pounds each. Mobinil's shares closed on Monday at 141.96 pounds.

"For France Telecom it would be a big capital loss if they have to sell shares to increase the free float," Henin added.

Egyptian investors however are looking at bluechips to allocate funds that will eventually be shifted from heavyweight Orascom Construction Industries (OCI). This may help draw interest in Mobinil, if the free float is increased.

Egyptian construction and fertiliser firm OCI NV, newly listed in the Netherlands and a unit of OCI, said 93.3 percent of global depository receipt (GDR) holders in the parent firm agreed to swap them for OCI NV shares.

OCI will delist after the remaining shareholders accept an offer to exchange their shares to those of OCI NV or sell them for the offered price of 280 pounds in cash.

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