A $1.68 billion IPO of the Kuwaiti-based Saudi Zain was already oversubscribed, two days before the offering closes, the IPO lead manager said.
Saudi Zain, a unit of the Mobile Telecommunications Company's [Zain] had received bids worth 9.52 billion riyals ($2.5385 billion) for the 45% stake it is selling, a spokesman for the Saudi-French Bank, the lead subscription manager, said. (1$ = 3.7502 Saudi riyals)
Zain said last month it was seeking to raise 6.3 billion riyals (about $1.68 billion).
Meanwhile, the Chief Executive of Zain Iraq said that the Kuwaiti company would expand its coverage to include all of Iraq by the end of 2008 after buying the Iraqi unit of Egypt's Orascom Telecom and building up its network.
At the moment, the company has 7.5 million subscribers in mid- and southern Iraq and the company is establishing a new network in the Diyala, Tikrit, Anbar and Sulaimaniya provinces.
Zain, the third-largest Arab telecom firm by market value, bought Iraqna for $1.2 billion in 2007 after the Egyptian company failed to win a license to continue the operations it began after the US-led invasion of 2003.
al-Wasat, Bahrain, February 17, 2008; al-Watan, Kuwait, February 18, 2008