Kuwait’s Zain Group has announced that its newly established joint stock company (JSC) in Iraq, Al-Khatem Company for Telecommunications, has held its first annual general meeting (AGM), with over 99% of shareholders attending. The AGM resulted in the voting in of seven board members and seven alternate board members. Mr Bader Al-Kharafi, the new managing director of Al-Khatem, and also a Zain Group board member, commented: ‘Since entering the Iraqi market a decade ago in 2003, Zain Group has invested over USD4.5 billion to the development of the country’s telecoms industry, offering Iraqis reliable mobile telephony services. Zain Iraq aims to fulfil its requirement to become a listed company on the Iraq Stock Exchange (ISX) in the first half of 2014, providing investors [with] the opportunity to invest in the telecoms sector and benefit from the future growth potential of Zain Iraq’.
As previously reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate, in June this year Zain indicated that it was in the process of setting up a holding company as Iraqi laws do not allow foreign-owned companies to list on the ISX. The company is obliged to float a quarter of its shares on the stock market as part of its USD1.25 billion licence, as are Iraq’s two other national operators. To date, Asiacell is the only other Iraqi cellco to have done so, listing in February this year, following a fully-subscribed USD1.27 billion share sale, that was said to represent Iraq’s largest ever flotation.