Kuwait-based wireless telecommunications provider Kalimat Telecom has appointed UK’s Ernst & Young advise it on its initial public offering (IPO) on Nasdaq Dubai.

The company will float 35 per cent of its shares and hopes to raise about $40m. It is far less than the $200m that the company was expecting to raise in April 2011 when it announced its plans for an IPO.

According to Varghese, the decision to list shares on Nasdaq Dubai was chosen at the will of the investors.

“The investors want to list on the Nasdaq Dubai, we have been working with them to get it through. They have a lot of investors who want to invest in Iraq,” he says.  

“It is a [US] dollar-denominated exchange so it gives comfort to investors, even though it is much more illiquid compared to the other UAE exchanges,” says Kunal Bajaj, telecoms analyst at UK-based bank HSBC.

Kalimat had also planned to list on the Iraq Stock Exchange (ISX), but these plans are unlikely to go through as it is not mandatory for Kalimat to do so, unlike the three mobile operators.

The IPO is scheduled for some time in the third quarter of this year and the money will be used to help fund Kalimat’s growth plan in Africa and potentially South America. Kalimat has been keen to secure a network licence in South Sudan, but is still waiting for guidance on the tendering process from the new government.