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Gulf IPOs: Nawras breaks Gulf IPO drought

Omani telco could raise $600 million; UAE mobile phone retailer to follow with IPO

Omani telecoms firm Nawras has launched the largest internationally marketed Gulf IPO for more than two years. It is Oman’s first IPO since July 2008 and is likely to be the exchange’s fifth-largest firm.

The firm is selling 40% of its stock. Qatari telecoms firm Q-Tel will remain the biggest shareholder, with a 55% stake, following the IPO.

On September 7 Nawras announced a price range for the shares of between Bzs702 and Bzs902, including issue expenses of Bzs2 (1,000 baisa equal one Omani riyal). This implies a total valuation for the firm of between OR456 million and OR586 million ($1.2 billion to $1.5 billion).

Bookbuilding pioneer

Retail investors have been allocated 70% of the free float, with 30% reserved for institutional investors. The final price will be set after the deal closes to subscriptions on October 14 (subscriptions opened on September 15). It is Oman’s first IPO to be priced via book-building.

Morgan Stanley, Bank Muscat and ­Qatar National Bank are joint lead managers. Morgan Stanley and Bank Muscat are joint bookrunners.

"The recent rarity of Omani and Gulf IPOs has helped the listing of Nawras attract attention"

Ross Cormack, Nawras

Nawras was granted a licence five years ago partly on the condition that it would offer shares on the local market.

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