Iraq sells mobile licenses to 3 firms

Iraq sold three mobile phone licenses for $3.75 billion to Kuwait's MTC, Asiacell and Korek, a Reuters report said.

The Reuters report said the three firms, which already run networks in the war-torn country, made the highest bids in an auction in the Jordanian capital.

'To get the best return from the auction in such circumstances is a great vote of confidence in the Iraqi economy,' Iraqi Finance Minister Bayan Jabor was quoted by the Reuters report, as saying.

The winners will also share 18% of the revenues with the government, the report said.

TurkCell and Egypt's Orascom Telecom had also bid for licenses but dropped out of the race for one of the few sectors to thrive amid Iraq 's instability and crumbling infrastructure, the report said.

The fixed-line network was hit by sanctions after Iraq's invasion of Kuwait in 1990 and by bombing during the US-led invasion in 2003, the report further said.