New IPO date for Qatari unit of Vodafone

IPO set to break monopoly of state-controlled Qatar Telecommunications.

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By  John Irish Published  March 10, 2009

The Qatari unit of UK mobile operator Vodafone Group said on Tuesday it would announce on March 15 a new date for its delayed initial public offering.

Vodafone had planned to sell a 40 percent stake in the operator last October, but did not get the required approvals from the Qatar Financial Markets Authority (QFMA) due to difficult market conditions.

The group, which will break the monopoly of state-controlled Qatar Telecommunications Co, will now announce a new date on Sunday, March 15, it said in a statement.

Vodafone, which won the bid for Qatar's second mobile telephone licence for $2.12 billion in December 2007, also intends to sell a 15 percent stake in the business to local institutional investors, leaving it and local partner Qatar Foundation with 45 percent.

HSBC Holding plc and Qatar National Bank are advising on the sale, one of the first in the Gulf Arab region this year. (Reuters)

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