First IPO on Iraqi Stock Market Since Invasion Is a Whopper: $1.3 Billion for Asiacell

By Quartz  JAN 03, 2013 10:36 AM

It's worth reading the fine print on this massive IPO.


This story by Stephanie Gruner Buckley originally appeared on Quartz.

Iraqi mobile phone operator Asiacell is seeking to raise some $1.3 billion on the Baghdad stock market in the first major IPO since the 2003 US-led invasion. Company and government leaders are championing what will be the nation’s biggest initial public equity offer ever, hoping to raise money, as well as energize the market, attract foreign funds, and shore up investor confidence after a decade of strife and instability.

Asiacell will offer 25% of its share capital on the Baghdad exchange through a subscription period opening today and closing in February. (Qatar Telecom holds a majority stake). Ordinary investors have been courted through ads by Asiacell, as well as a media campaign by the Iraqi stock exchange, with local newspapers advertising that investing in shares is as easy as picking up a phone to a broker.
Leaving aside the question of whether it’s easy to reach a broker in Baghdad, there are other concerns about this IPO. Here are some of them:
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No positions in stocks mentioned.