Qatar offering 40% share sale to raise capital

Vodafone's joint venture in Qatar will attempt to raise £665 million from the sale of 40% of its shares in an initial public offering next month, which would value the business at about £1.66 billion, writes the Financial Times.

The FT says some analysts are questioning how much appetite there will be for an IPO in the region, where investors are facing a liquidity shortage.

However the fact that over 90% of Qatar's population is made of migrant workers is on of the reasons for Vodafone's investment in it - the operator has its eye on the opportunity to handle international remittances of workers sending money home, building on its experience and success with the M-PESA mobile payment scheme in Kenya and between East Africa and the UK.

Vodafone Qatar is due to launch services in the Gulf state by June, breaking the monopoly of state-owned Qatar Telecommunications.