Axiata Bangladesh finalizes IPO plans

Nicole McCormick
09 Feb 2010

As share market confidence continues to return, two leading mobile operators in developing Asia – Axiata Bangladesh and Vietnam’s MobiFone – prepare for local IPOs.

Axiata Bangladesh’s chairman, Ghazzali Sheikh Abdul Khalid, is due to arrive in Dhaka today to discuss IPO plans with Dhaka Stock Exchange officials.

Axiata Bangladesh owns Aktel, the third largest operator, with 9.3 million customers at end-December, according to Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission figures.

The finalization of Axiata Bangladesh’s listing, comes amid huge demand for stock in the no. 1 cellco GrameenPhone.

The Telenor-controlled company, which had 23.3 million mobile users at end-December, listed on the Dhaka Stock Exchange and the Chittagong Stock Exchange, on November 16, raising around $140 million.

This week, the stock exchange regulator moved to cool GrameenPhone’s recent rising share price.

“As price volatility in Grameenphone shares has appeared during the last few days' trading, the commission has stopped the financial adjustment facilities to bring back stability in prices of the company,” Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) chairman, Ziaul Haque Khondker, told the Financial Express.

Meanwhile, Vietnam’s dominant cellco MobiFone has taken its long-delayed IPO plans off the backburner, reportedly hiring Credit Suisse to manage its local listing.

The company’s revenues jumped 52% to $1.5 billion in 2009 vs. 2008, but pre-tax profits were down 3.4% to just over $300 million.

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