Nawras in numbers

$236m: Nawras revenues at the end of June 2010

14 October: Closing date of IPO

Source: Nawras

Omani mobile phone operator Nawras will launch 40 per cent of its shares on the Muscat Securities Market (MSM) on 15 September, making it the first company to list in the sultanate for two years.

Nawras expects to raise between $470m and $603m through the initial public offering (IPO), which will rank it within the top five listed companies by market capitalisation.   

“One of the key attractions of listing now is that it gives us a strong first-mover advantage,” says Ross Cormack, chief executive of Nawras.  

“We will have the eyes of the Gulf and in fact of the whole investment world, upon us. We have been talking to targeted institutional investors over the last few days and the feedback has been very positive.”  

Retail investors will be offered 70 per cent of the offering. The remaining 30 per cent will be sold to institutional investors.

The initial public offering (IPO) will run until 14 October and entail the first book-building process undertaken by an Omani company, with Nawras embarking on an investor roadshow in the coming weeks, which will cover the Gulf region, before moving on to London and Frankfurt. The US’ Morgan Stanley and Oman’s Bank Muscat are acting as the joint bookrunners.

“The listing won’t generate any new funds for Nawras as the proceeds will be divided between the sellers and buyers of the shares,” says Cormack.

Nawras is currently 70 per cent owned by Omani Qatari Telecommunications Company, which is majority owned by the Qtel Group and 30 per cent owned by Omani shareholders. After the IPO, Qtel will own 55 per cent, the original Omani shareholders will own 5 per cent and 40 per cent will be freefloat.

Nawras began operations in 2005 and today has a 45 per cent share of the sultanate’s mobile-phone market. Its revenues stood at RO91m ($236m) for the six months ended 30 June.