x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Watinaya notches up Palestine's biggest IPO in a decade

Palestinian mobile phone operator Wataniya's initial public offering offers a fillip to the Palestine Exchange

Watinaya's IPO is the biggest in a decade for Palestine.
Watinaya's IPO is the biggest in a decade for Palestine.

Wataniya's successful initial public offering offers a fillip to Palestine Exchange despite difficult market conditions elsewhere in the GCC.

It is the Palestinian Territories second mobile operator behind PALTEL and raised $78 million in its initial public offering, one and half times more than the $50.3m it needed to raise.

It was the largest IPO in Palestine for 10 years, based on a fixed price of $1.30 per share.

Wataniya already has an almost 20 per cent mobile market share in the Palestinian Territories.

The listing is a "tremendous vote of confidence by Palestinian and international investors", said the chief executive officer of Wataniya Mobile, Dr Bassam Hannoun.

The company is 53 per cent owned by Qatar Telecom and 47 per cent by the Palestine Investment Fund.

"Against a backdrop of difficult global equity markets, these subscription levels, and the sheer number of participating investors, reconfirm what a successful transaction this has been," added Dr Mohammad Mustafa, chairman of the mobile phone operator.