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Sat 23 Feb 2008 03:22 PM

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Zain Saudi Arabia IPO 183% oversubscribed

Over eight million Saudis offer $4.8bn towards IPO of third mobile operator.

The initial public offering (IPO) of Zain Saudi Arabia, the kingdom's third mobile phone company, was 183% oversubscribed, final figures issued by the lead manager showed.

Zain Saudi Arabia, an affiliate of Kuwait's Mobile Telecommunications Company, was seeking to raise 6.3 billion riyals ($1.68 billion) by selling shares to the public in an offering this month.

Some 8.53 million Saudi nationals offered 17.83 billion riyals towards the IPO, which sold shares at 10 riyals each in the 10-day offering that ended on February 18, Banque Saudi Fransi said in a statement.

Zain raised another 700 million riyals by selling shares to the state-run Public Pension Agency.

Kuwait's Zain owns 25% of the firm, which agreed to pay $6.11 billion last year for Saudi Arabia's third mobile phone licence. Saudi Zain plans to start operations this year. (Reuters)

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