The telecoms company will either arrange a secondary listing on the Bahrain Stock Exchange for the group or list its international operations unit on the exchange, says chief executive officer Saad al-Barak. The international division has headquarters in Bahrain.

Zain will use the new capital to help finance its expansion in the Middle East and North Africa.

The company, which has its primary listing on the Kuwait Stock Exchange, surprised investors in April when it revealed that its net profits in the first three months of 2008 were up just 10 per cent on the same period in 2007. (MEED 23:4:08)

Zain’s main regional rival Etisalat, from the UAE, reported net profits of $578m in the first quarter of the year, compared with Zain’s $271m of net profits.