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Tue 31 Aug 2010 01:28 PM

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Oman's Nawras IPO may raise $550-600m - source

Nawras to offer 260 million shares, no new equity; IPO to launch Sept. 15.

Oman's Nawras IPO may raise $550-600m - source
IPO PLAN: A price range has not yet been set for the sale.(Getty Images)

Oman's Nawras, a subsidiary of Qatar Telecommunication may raise between $550m to $600m in its long-awaited initial public offering, a source familiar with the matter said on Tuesday.

Nawras, which broke the monopoly of state-controlled Omantel in 2006, agreed to float 40 percent of its capital in February under the condition of its licence but the government granted the company an extension to September.

The company will offer 260 million shares as it divests 40 percent of its capital but no fresh equity is being issued to investors, the source said. Nawras has a capital base of 650 million shares.

A price range has not yet been set for the sale.

All founding shareholders of the company, including majority shareholder Qtel will offload their stake through the offering on a pro-rata basis, the source said.

As much as 70 percent of the offering is open to individual investors, while the remaining part of the issue will be open to institutional investors.

Nawras is projected to earn revenues of 190 million rials ($493.6 million) for 2010, while net income for the period is expected to come in at 53 million ($137.7 million) rials, the source added.

The IPO is expected to launch on September 15 and will be open for a month. The source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the shares may list on the Oman bourse by the end of October.

Gulf IPO activity nearly came to a halt in 2009 as a result of the financial crisis with the total value of IPOs in the Middle East and North Africa falling 83 percent, according to a report by consultancy Ernst & Young.

Activity has been muted in 2010 too with most regions, except Saudi Arabia, seeing no public offerings in the first half. ($1=.3849 Omani Rial) (Reuters)

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