According to a report by Dow Jones, which cites sources familiar with the matter, Oman’s second national telecoms operator, Omani-Qatari Telecommunications Company (Nawras), has extended its initial public offering (IPO) by one week due to weak interest from retail investors. One source said that Nawras originally planned to set the final share price on 24 October 2010, but this will now take place on 31 October, while shares will now be listed on 3 November, instead of 27 October as originally planned. Another unnamed source said that while the institutional investors have applied for around 320 million shares, retail investor interest has been poor so far, with applications submitted for only around nine million shares. The source added that the Capital Market Authority (CMA) has approved the one week extension.
According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, Nawras agreed to float 40% of its shares in February 2010, as required under the terms of its licence, but the government granted the operator an extension to September. The company, which was founded in 2004 by a consortium comprising Qatar incumbent Qtel (which owns a 55% stake in the company), Danish counterpart TDC (15%) and a number of Omani investors (30%), is offering 260 million shares in Oman’s first IPO in two years. Last month Nawras set the price range for its IPO at between OMR0.702 and OMR0.902 (USD1.82-USD2.33) a share.