Iraq's Asiacell shares double bourse market cap

  • Share via facebook
  • Tweet this
  • Bookmark and Share
(Picture for illustrative purposes only)

(Picture for illustrative purposes only)

The market capitalisation of the Baghdad bourse doubled in February to reach $9.2 billion, boosted by Asiacell share trading, which started in early February.

As the first major flotation since a US-led invasion toppled Saddam Hussein in 2003, Asiacell's share offer was seen as a test of confidence in the OPEC member's economy, which is recovering from years of war and economic sanctions.

The Iraq Stock Exchange (ISX), which started operating in 2004, is one of the few examples of private sector success in a country still largely dominated by public companies.

The bourse's market capitalisation by end of January was $4.6 billion, Taha Abdulsalam, chief executive of the Iraq Stock Exchange (ISX), told Reuters.

"It was my expectation that the market capitalisation would be doubled and it was," Abdulsalam said.

The number of shares traded during February, including Asiacell's, was around 83 billion, compared with 69 billion at the end of January. The volume of shares changing hands was 217 billion Iraqi dinars ($186 million), up from 99 billion Iraqi dinars ($85 million).

Asiacell alone had 5 billion shares traded during the 20 trading sessions in February, with a volume of 101 billion Iraqi dinars ($86.72 million).

The largest equity offer in the Middle East since 2008, Asiacell, majority-owned by Qatar Telecom (Qtel), raised $1.27 billion when it sold 67.5 billion shares on February 3 at 22.0 Iraqi dinars per share.

"To trade around 5 billion shares by a price of 22 dinars, I believe it is the biggest trading volume currently in the market," said Abdulsalam.

"The success of Asiacell shares trading ... has given confidence for Iraqi and non-Iraqi investors that the Iraqi market could handle that and could handle more than that".

Asiacell's share value jumped the maximum 10 percent at the beginning of its first day of trading to 24.2 dinars but closed on the last day of trading at 22.01.

Qatar Telecom raised its stake in the company to 64 percent in a vote of confidence in a country recovering from years of war and economic sanctions.

Domestic rivals Zain Iraq, a subsidiary of Kuwait's Zain , and France Telecom affiliate Korek, are also required to sell shares under the terms of their licences, having missed an August 2011 deadline, along with Asiacell.

Iraq's stock exchange has 84 listed firms. Banking dominates in terms of market value, although there are also stocks in industrial, insurance, hospitality and agriculture sectors.

Related:
Join the Discussion

Disclaimer:The view expressed here by our readers are not necessarily shared by Arabian Business, its employees, sponsors or its advertisers.

Please post responsibly. Commenter Rules

  • No comments yet, be the first!

Enter the words above: Enter the numbers you hear:

All comments are subject to approval before appearing

Further reading

Features & Analysis
An Instagram photo is worth a thousand words

An Instagram photo is worth a thousand words

Instagram has become the social media platform of choice for...

1
Fear and roaming in the Gulf

Fear and roaming in the Gulf

The Gulf’s telecommunications giants are once more pushing ahead...

The art of the online video

The art of the online video

As online marketing continues to grow in prominence and importance...

Most Discussed
  • 54
    Three UAE women attacked with hammer at London hotel

    I really feel that Arabian Business.Com should now close this comments page. This should be all about sympathy for the families not what it is/has turned... more

    Wednesday, 16 April 2014 1:06 PM - Adrienne
  • 51
    Why Dubai isn't a plastic city

    What is definitely not a plastic city. The Arabs have a culture dating back to several centuries. 50 years back Dubai was just a fishing village. Today... more

    Tuesday, 8 April 2014 3:49 PM - P. MADHUSUDAN
  • 48
    DMCC boss Ahmed Bin Sulayem entertains Robert Mugabe in Dubai

    @fga ''However today, simply because he decided to dispossess a few white farmers of their land and redistribute to the poorer indigenous blacks'' more

    Sunday, 13 April 2014 3:02 PM - Matt Williams