The long-awaited initial public offering (IPO) of shares in state-owned Telecom Egypt (TE) is now expected to be launched by the end of November following the 22 November approval of the transaction by parliament.

The Communications & Information Technology Ministry will offer 340 million of TE’s shares at an as-of-yet unspecified price. Analysts say, however, that the price is expected to be in the range of £E 10-13 ($1.74-2.26) each. The two-week-long offering, which was originally targeted for the first quarter of 2006, is expected to be heavily oversubscribed. A team of Credit Suisse First Bostonand the local EFG-Hermesis the global co-ordinator and bookrunner for the ministry.

In preparation for the IPO, TE earlier this year announced a 1:10 stock split raising its number of shares to 1,710 million (MEED 12:8:05).

The carrier on 23 November announced that revenues for the first nine months of the year had reached £E 64,000 million ($11,100 million), a year-on-year increase of 8.3 per cent. Net profit before tax climbed to £E 2,100 million ($365 million) in the first nine months, up 45.4 per cent on the same period in 2004.

TE said that the total number of fixed-line subscribers had reached 10.3 million at the end of September.