CEO: Iraq Exchange “Targeting 25 Companies” to List
|January 28, 2014||Filled under All Dinar Trade Articles|
The CEO of the Iraq Stock Exchange [ISX] has said he is targeting 25 companies to make an initial public offering, a year after the bourse listed the largest Middle East IPO since 2008.
Taha Ahmed Al Rubaye told Arabian Business he was in discussions with the senior executives of companies that were close to meeting the listing requirements – including having 100 shareholders and publishing financial data for the past year – as part of his goal to boost the still infant exchange.
“I have a list of about 25 non-listed companies; we are encouraging them to come to our stock exchange,” Al Rubaye said on the sidelines of the Iraq Finance 2014 conference in Dubai on Monday.
“We are discussing that with their boards and their CEOs but it depends on them… if they match [the requirements] then we’d be happy to have them on the stock exchange.
“There are thousands of limited companies; we’re encouraging them too to move to a shareholders’ company [and then to launch an IPO].”
The ISX was established in 2004 after the fall of Saddam Hussein but is still relatively small in size, with 83 listed companies with a market capitalisation of $9bn.
Still not fully digitalised – it’s expected to go online later this year – the exchange rose to prominence in 2013 with the Middle East’s largest listing since 2008 – telecommunications provider Asiacell.
The float raised 1.49 trillion Iraqi dinars ($1.3bn) and the stock price rose the maximum 10 percent in the first day of trading on February 4.
The country’s other two phone networks also are supposed to be listing under their licensing contracts but only Zain Iraq has publicly declared its intention to go public.
“Under their contract they [should have] listed two years ago, but we are waiting to have the request to transfer the company from limited to shareholder,” Al Rubaye said.
“We are waiting to have their request. I believe, if the general assembly at their meeting this year decide to list, they’ll be ready in June or July.”
Al Rubaye said he also had had talks with “several” banks that were close to meeting listing requirements but needed to increase their shareholder count to 100.
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