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Wataniya Palestine IPO oversubscribed 1.5 times

Ramallah, December 4, 2010

Mobile telephone operator Wataniya Palestine's initial public offering (IPO) was oversubscribed 1.5 times, showing good demand from retail investors, head of the company's board said on Saturday.

The company, part owned by Qatar Telecommunications, received bids for 58.05 million shares compared with 38.7 million on offer, Mohammad Mustafa told Reuters.

The second mobile operator offered shares at $1.3 per share for Palestinian, Arab and foreign investors, equivalent to 15 per cent of its shares.

'We aimed to raise $50 million, but we got $75 million. This is very encouraging and it is a vote of confidence in the company,' Mustafa said.

Subscription closed on Dec. 2.

Wataniya said in Nov. that revenue rose to $11.3 million in the third quarter from $9.1 million in the second quarter and $4 million in the first quarter, when it began recording revenue.

The company began functioning as the second mobile operator in the Palestinian Territories a year ago after entering the market as a competitor to Jawwal, owned by The Palestine Telecommunications Co (Paltel).

The 38.7 million shares will be traded on the Nablus-based Palestine Exchange in January, Mustafa said.

'We are the biggest company to be listed in terms of the paid up capital which is $258 million,' Mustafa said.

Wataniya will join 40 companies listed on the bourse, which have a combined market capitalisation of around $2.5 billion.

Another 15 per cent tranche will be offered to the public within four years, sources familiar with the matter said previously.

'Listing of Wataniya Palestine will raise the market capitalisation about 14 per cent. This will have a very huge and positive impact,' Ahmad Aweidah, the bourse chief executive told Reuters.

Wataniya Palestine is 53 per cent owned by Qatar Telecommunications and 47 per cent by the Palestine Investment Fund (PIF), which is owned by the Palestinian Authority. Those stakes are set to drop to 40 per cent and 30 per cent respectively after 30 per cent of the company is sold to the public.

HSBC Middle East is the global coordinator and bookrunner for the IPO, while the Arab Bank Group is the regional coordinator and underwriter. – Reuters




Tags: IPO | Shares | Ramallah | Wataniya Palestine | Qatar Telecommunication | Patel |

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