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Zain to list on London bourse in Q1

Kuwait-based mobile phone firm announces move at relaunch of African operations under Zain brand.

Kuwait-based mobile operator Zain plans to list on the London Stock Exchange (LSE) in the first quarter of next year, its CEO said on Friday.

Speaking to reporters in Nairobi, Kenya, Saad Al-Barrak said the listing will allow more investors to take a stake in the operator’s expanding operations, reported newswire Bloomberg.

He said details of the listing still had to be worked out.

Al-Barrak was in the Kenyan capital to launch the rebranding of its African operations as Zain.

The company, formally known as the Mobile Telecommunications Co (MTC) in the Middle East, was operating in 14 African nations as Celtel.

Zain purchased Celtel for $3.4 billion in 2005.

Al-Barrak said the relaunch was part of Zain’s push to become one of the top 10 mobile operators in the world by 2011.

"By rebranding to Zain, we are bringing together our African and Middle East operations under a single, strong and unique identity," he was quoted as saying.

Al-Barrak also said Zain will launch operations in Ghana later this year, and plans to list on the Ghana Stock Exchange in the next two to three years, followed by Kenya and Nigeria.

Al-Barrak told Arabian Business in May the company might sell shares worth up to $5 billion in a stock offering in Europe next year to help fund its rapid expansion abroad.

Zain is currently listed on the Kuwait Stock Exchange (KSE).