(MENAFN) Iraqi's No.1 telecoms operator Zain Iraq said it will move forward with its long-delayed stock market listing in Baghdad by early 2013 at the latest, Reuters reported.
According to Zain Iraq deputy chief executive and chief operating officer Hisham Akbar, the company must first convert to a joint stock company in preparation for the initial public offering (IPO).
Under Iraqi regulations, telecom operators in the country have to sell a quarter of their shares to investors through an IPO to meet conditions for their mobile phone licences in Iraq.
However, Zain Iraq and rivals Asiacell and Korek missed a deadline of August 2011 for the IPOs and have been fined accordingly.
Zain Iraq was fined USD12,864 per day for missing the IPO deadline. Akbar expects an appeal against this penalty to be heard by year-end.
He also said that parent Zain's shareholding in Zain Iraq would fall to 51 percent from 76 percent if the IPO is fully subscribed.
The requirement for the phone companies to list on the Iraqi stock market is part of efforts to create a more diversified economy and move away from state-run companies.