On February 3rd, history was made in Iraq with the initial public offering for Asiacell Communications (ticker: TASC). By offering 67.503 billion shares at IQD 22 per share, the company managed to raise IQD 1.485 trillion (about $1.277 billion USD). It closed at IQD 23.47 today for a nice gain of 6.7% on the week. Here are some facts about this record breaking IPO:
- Asiacell is the first telecom company to be listed on the Iraq Stock Exchange (ISX), and the 84th company to be listed overall
- Asiacell is majority owned by Qatar Telecom, and was offering 25% of its equity up for sale as per their Iraqi license agreements
- The subscription was completely taken up, with 70% of the IPO bought by foreign investors
- It is the largest IPO in the Middle East since 2008, taking the crown from Saudi Arabian Mining Co.
- In 2013, it ranks as the second largest IPO in the world this year, just edged out by Zoetis which IPO’d days earlier on the NYSE
- The ISX had a market cap of about $4.5 billion prior to this IPO, meaning Asiacell will make up almost a quarter of the ISX
Not too shabby for a company with 9.9 million subscribers (just under a third of the country), and you can see the official press release here. This is not over either; there are two other telecom companies, Korek Telecom and Zain Iraq, that will be also be offering shares and are expected to push the ISX’s market cap up to $8 billion.