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Sun 7 Nov 2010 02:43 PM

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Wataniya Palestine launches $50m IPO

Company is offering 38.7 million shares at $1.3 per share, equivalent to 15 percent of its shares

Wataniya Palestine launches $50m IPO
Wataniya said revenue rose to $11.3m in the third quarter from $9.1m in the second quarter

Mobile telephone

operator Wataniya Palestine launched an initial public offering

(IPO) on Sunday to raise $50m for financing an expansion

of its network, the firm's chief executive said.

The company, part owned by Qatar Telecommunications Co

, is offering 38.7 million shares at $1.3 per share,

equivalent to 15 percent of its shares.

Subscription closes on December 2.

"The IPO constitutes a huge and important step in the

history of the company which reflects its commitments towards

subscribers," CEO Bassam Hannoun said in a statement.

Last week, Wataniya said revenue rose to $11.3m in

the third quarter from $9.1m in the second quarter and $4m in the first quarter, when it began recording revenue.

The firm began functioning as the second mobile operator in

the Palestinian Territories a year ago after entering the market

as a competitor to Jawwal, owned by The Palestine

Telecommunications Co (Paltel).

The 38.7 million shares to be floated will be traded on the

Nablus-based Palestine Exchange within 30 days after the IPO

closes on December 2.

Wataniya will join 40 companies listed on the bourse, which

have a combined market capitalisation of around $2.5bn.

Another 15 percent tranche will be offered to the public

within four years, sources familiar with the matter said.

Wataniya Palestine is 53 percent owned by Qatar

Telecommunications and 47 percent by the Palestine Investment

Fund (PIF), which is owned by the Palestinian Authority.

Those stakes are set to drop to 40 percent and 30 percent

respectively after 30 percent is sold to the public.

HSBC Middle East Ltd  will be global coordinator and

bookrunner for the IPO, while the Arab Bank Group will

be the regional coordinator and underwriter.

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