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Fri 29 Oct 2010 09:48 AM

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Nawras IPO drew subdued retail interest - sources

Telco had reserved nearly 70% of the offer to retail investors, expected $34.8m

Nawras IPO drew subdued retail interest - sources
BOURSE LIST: Oman telco Nawras will list on the bourse on November 3

Retail buyers took up only 38.5 percent of the initial public offering of shares in Oman telco Nawras, a unit of Qatar Telecommunications, two sources familiar with the deal said on Thursday.

The telecoms firm had reserved as much as 70 percent of the offer to retail investors, with the rest earmarked for institutional investors.

Earlier in October, Nawras extended the IPO period by a week due to tepid retail buy-in.

Nawras raised $472.6 million after the offer priced at the bottom of its range at 702 baisas per share.

It sold 260 million shares in total and had expected to raise as much as $34.8 million from retail investors.

A source familiar with the IPO, told Reuters: "Nawras raised only 70 million rials from retail investors and 112 million rials came from institutional investors."

The source added: "Clearly the retail investors did not have much appetite for the IPO, and it was left to institutional investors to come to the rescue."

Nawras will list on the bourse on November 3.

Nawras, which broke the monopoly of state-controlled Omantel in 2006, was aiming to raise as much as $608 million and had put up 260 million shares priced between 702 and 902 baisas in the Gulf Arab state's first IPO sale through a book-building process. (Reuters)