Zain Iraq, the country’s largest mobile operator by subscribers, has admitted that its long awaited initial public offering (IPO) will be completed by the end of 2013, rather than in 1H13 as initially anticipated, signifying a further delay in the long-gestating sale process. Speaking at the company’s annual general meeting earlier this month, Asaad Ahmed al-Banwan said: ‘We are now [examining] the legal procedures and we think by the end of the year we will finish the public offering’.

Zain Iraq along with rival mobile rivals Asiacell, an Ooredoo (Qatar Telecom) subsidiary, and France Telecom-Orange affiliate Korek Telecom all missed an initial August 2011 deadline to float a quarter of their shares and list on the Iraq Stock Exchange (ISX). Asiacell is the only one of the trio to go on to do so. It listed on the ISX in February this year, following a fully-subscribed USD1.27 billion share sale, that was said to represent Iraq’s largest ever flotation.