Zain Bahrain IPO kicks off by mid-April

MANAMA: Zain Bahrain plan to launch its IPO by mid of this month as the Company completes the legal formalities in this regard.

The Minister of State for Communications, Sheikh Fawaz bin Mohammed Al Khalifa, said that the Kingdom’s open economy policy coupled with an overall strategy to develop the telecommunications sector has paved the way for Bahrain to be positioned as an innovative telecoms hub.

The comments came as the Minister received in his office the General Manager of Zain Bahrain, Mohammed Zainalabedin, to discuss the latest developments pertaining to Zain Bahrain’s initial public offering (IPO).

A key development highlighted during the meeting was that Zain Bahrain filed for conversion from a closed joint-stock to a public joint-stock company through the Ministry of Industry and Commerce which was published in the official Gazette and local Newspaper on 13th February (2014), with the no-objection period ending after 60 days on the 12th of April.

Commenting on the recent developments, Sheikh Fawaz said that the Zain Bahrain stock market listing is a positive development and will boost the Kingdom’s economic positioning both regionally and internationally.

The Minister also added that the IPO will generate economic growth for the telecommunications sector and provide attractive investment opportunities for the market.

They also discussed the recent appointments and plans made by the operator to facilitate and coordinate a smooth process with Zain Bahrain appointing the Bank of Bahrain and Kuwait (BBK) as the lead receiving banks. The telecoms company has also appointed Ericsson as a technology partner to ensure the roll-out of necessary systems and software. Other appointments included the Gulf International Bank (GIB) and National Bank of Kuwait Capital (NBKC) as IPO joint lead managers. The company has also initiated an official engagement with Bahrain Bourse.

Zain Bahrain launched its US$100 million new state-of-the-art network in the Kingdom towards the end of the first quarter of 2014, further strengthening the operator’s role in the development of the telecommunications sector in Bahrain

“Their Strategic partnership with Vodafone enhances both Zain and Vodafone’s ability to meet growing consumer and multinational businesses demand for sophisticated voice and data communications solutions, as well as advanced roaming services within and beyond the Middle East.”

Zain Bahrain’s shareholder structure consists of a majority percentage held by Zain Group at 56.75%, Vodafone holding 6.25% and 37% held by Bahraini investors.

Since its liberalization back in 2003, the telecommunications sector in Bahrain is one of the most important and vital pillars driving and supporting the national economy.

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