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Qatar's Qtel increases share in Iraq's Asiacell

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February 4, 2013 06:28 AM EST | AP

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BAGHDAD — Qatar Telecom says it has increased its share in the Iraqi phone service provider Asiacell from 53.9 percent to 64.06 percent after a successful public offering for a quarter of the Iraqi company's shares.

Qtel chairman Sheikh Abdullah Bin Mohammed Bin Saud Al-Thani said on Monday that Asiacell is "an outstanding business and has seen excellent performance" year after year.

Asiacell raised nearly $1.3 billion on Baghdad's small stock exchange Sunday in one of the region's biggest share offers in years. The sale more than doubled the market capitalization of the low-volume stock market from $4.7 billion to $9.65 billion.

Qtel is majority-owned by the Qatari government. It has more than 83 million customers in the Middle East, North Africa and Asia.

Asiacell has nearly 10 million subscribers in Iraq.