Mobile operator Etisalat Egypt postpones public offering on political instability, expects reparations end of 2011

Ahram Online, Wednesday 12 Oct 2011

Ten-year lows on the stock exchange are forcing the provider to rethink its listing plans, even as it lines up LE10 billion in further investments

The company froze its planned IPO until Egypt's stock market rebounds

Etisalat Egypt decided to freeze offering 15 – 25 per cent of its shares in an Initial Public Offering (IPO) until trading volumes on Egypt’s stock exchange improve, Etisalat’s CEO told Al-Mal newspaper

The company had been consulting with eight investment banks on the public offering which was indented for capital expansion. However, political developments since 25 January have taken their toll on the stock exchange, bringing trading volumes to lows not seen in 10 years.

The Etisalat - UAE subsidiary intends to invest LE10 billion in capital expenditure over 2011 – 2013, according to chief executive Saleh al-Abdouli.

The company has not yet decided upon distributing dividends, especially given that Egypt Post, a 20 per cent shareholder, has not officially claimed its share of profits.

Al-Abdouli indicated that Etisalat expects to collect compensation by the end of 2011 for being forced to cut its services last January, as the company has completed all required filings to claim compensation.

The CEO also noted that the cost of upgrading the network, which saw all Egyptian mobile phone numbers increase to 11 digits, cost the company LE60 million.

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