Investcom prices offering at top end of range

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Investcom shares surged on Thursday morning after the Dubai mobile telecommunications company listed its shares in London.

By mid-day, shares were up 13 per cent at $13.90.

Investcom raised $741m in the biggest international share sale by a Middle Eastern company after the group priced its London market debut at the top of its range.

The firm, controlled by family of Najib Mikati, former Lebanese prime minister, sold 59.9m global depositary shares - 22.6 per cent of total shares - at the top of its $10.35 to $12.35 range. The shares are to be listed on the London Stock Exchange and the Dubai International Financial Exchange (DIFX). The offering valued the company at $3.3bn.

Azmi Mikati, chief executive of Investcom who is the nephew of Najib Mikati, said: “We are delighted to have completed this IPO so successfully. We look forward to continuing to implement our strategy and develop our business as a publicly listed company.”

Investcom has targeted low-income cash economies in Africa and the Middle East where mobile phone penetration is still low. It uses a pre-paid model for most of its sales.

The company has 3.3m subscribers to its GSM mobile phone networks in Ghana, Syria, Yemen, Benin, Cyprus, Guinea Bissau, Liberia and Sudan. Mr Mikati, chief executive, said the company would use funding raised through the IPO to expand operations in the Middle East, targeting Iraq and Saudi Arabia.

The offering provides international investors an opportunity to cash in on the boom in the region’s oil-driven economies. Conditional trading of global depositary shares began on Thursday.

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