Qatar's Qtel increases share in Iraq's Asiacell

February 4, 2013 - 7:30 AM
Mideast Iraq

Iraqi stock traders watch the sales screen at the Iraq Stock Exchange in Baghdad, Iraq, Sunday, Feb. 3, 2013. The Iraqi mobile phone company Asiacell sold a 25 percent stake to investors Sunday, raising more than $1.3 billion in one of the region's largest share offers in years. The floatation on the low-volume Iraq Stock Exchange was seen as a test of investor confidence. (AP Photo/Hadi Mizban)

BAGHDAD (AP) — Qatar Telecom says it has increased its share in the Iraqi phone service provider Asiacell from 53.9 percent to 64.06 percent after a successful public offering for a quarter of the Iraqi company's shares.

Qtel chairman Sheikh Abdullah Bin Mohammed Bin Saud Al-Thani said on Monday that Asiacell is "an outstanding business and has seen excellent performance" year after year.

Asiacell raised nearly $1.3 billion on Baghdad's small stock exchange Sunday in one of the region's biggest share offers in years. The sale more than doubled the market capitalization of the low-volume stock market from $4.7 billion to $9.65 billion.

Qtel is majority-owned by the Qatari government. It has more than 83 million customers in the Middle East, North Africa and Asia.

Asiacell has nearly 10 million subscribers in Iraq.