The initial public offering (IPO) in Al-Barka Power Company (ABPC)was launched on 21 November, and is due to close on 20 December. Bank Muscatis financial adviser and lead manager on the sale.

As decreed by the terms of the Barka independent power and water project (IWPP), 35 per cent of the project company’s capital will be offered, which will be divided into 11.2 million shares priced at RO 0.97 ($2.49) plus a RO 0.02 ($0.05) fee. Sources involved in the transaction say that strong interest has already been shown by investors and that the issue is likely to be heavily oversubscribed. However, it will not be upsized. The other shareholders in ABPC are AES Barka Holdings, which will have 58 per cent after the IPO, and Multitech– a subsidiary of the local Suhail Bahwan Group– with 10 per cent.

The law governing the private power projects decrees an IPO within four years of formation of the project company, and sale of a stake in Dhofar Power Companyis due to come to market in the first quarter of 2005. A financial advisory mandate is due to be awarded imminently, with Bank Muscat understood to be the frontrunner.

National Economy Minister Ahmed bin Abdulnabi Maki said in mid-November that the IPO of 30 per cent of the capital of Oman Mobile Telecommunications Company (Omantel)was now also set to be floated by the end of March 2005, a slight delay from the original plan to offers the shares before the end of 2004. A team of HSBC, Bank Muscat and Fincorpis the financial adviser and Denton Wilde Sapteis legal adviser (MEED 11:6:04).