Qatar Telecom (Qtel) has agreed to increase its shareholding in Iraqi mobile operator Asiacell.

The Doha-based operator has agreed to increase its shareholding to 60 per cent for $1.47bn.

Qtel will initially increase its ownership to 53.9 per cent and the remaining shareholding is subject to Iraqi Government and Regulatory Authority approval. The transaction will be financed from existing funds.

Sheikh Abdullah bin Mohammed bin Saud al-Thani, chairman of the Qtel Group said it will continue to work hard on preparing for Asiacell’s planned initial public offering (IPO) that is scheduled for later this year.

International investments now account for more than 80 per cent of Qtel Group’s revenues.