Etisalat's Egyptian unit mulls stock market listing
Etisalat Misr says it has not yet decided on which bourse it will list
UAE telco Etisalat's Egypian opco, Etisalat Misr is considering a public share listing, but has yet to settle on an exchange for the offering, Reuters reported.
Egypt's last major IPO was in 2010, but markets have suffered since then from political upheaval and two changes in government. The first was a popular uprising that ousted long-term leader Hosni Mubarak in early 2011, and the second saw military action that overthrew Islamist President Mohamed Mursi in July last year amid widespread protests.
Elections are due within months to replace the military-backed interim government with a fresh parliament and president. Army chief Field Marshal Abdel Fattah al-Sisi is widely expected to run for the presidency and win.
Etisalat Misr had made previous preparations for an IPO that were delayed because of the political unrest, but recent recovery in the Egyptian market due to increased confidence in the economy has led to renewed efforts. In a move to bolster trading and attract foreign investors, Egypt's regulator changed bourse rules earlier this year to make it easier for companies to go public.
"Etisalat [Misr] is studying the best option for floating its shares on the bourse and the appropriate market for them, either on the Egyptian bourse or outside it," the Egyptian opco said in a statement.
"It is expected that the study will end soon, especially after the positive indicators that the Egyptian bourse has witnessed lately."
Etisalat Misr competes with Vodafone Egypt and France Telecom opco Mobinil, in Egypt's mobile market.
Abu Dhabi-based Etisalat, the UAE's biggest telecoms operator by revenue and subscribers, missed analysts' forecasts with a 70% rise in fourth-quarter net profit last month, largely due to its Nigerian and Indonesian operations. The company controls a 66% holding in Etisalat Misr.