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12 November, 2013

Zain Iraq awarded Telecom Operator of the Year accolade at prestigious 2013 Arabian Business Achievement Awards

Baghdad, Dubai - 12 November, 2013: Zain Group, a pioneer in mobile telecommunications in eight markets across the Middle East and Africa, is proud to announce the award of the Telecom Operator of the Year accolade to its operation in Iraq at the prestigious Arabian Business Achievement Awards 2013, held in Dubai on 11 November.

Zain Iraq awarded Telecom Operator of the Year accolade at prestigious 2013 Arabian Business Achievement Awards
Company commended for its economic and social investment in Iraq over the past 10 years
Baghdad, Dubai - 12 November, 2013: Zain Group, a pioneer in mobile telecommunications in eight markets across the Middle East and Africa, is proud to announce the award of the Telecom Operator of the Year accolade to its operation in Iraq at the prestigious Arabian Business Achievement Awards 2013, held in Dubai on 11 November.

Arabian Business is a highly regarded online and print business publication across the Middle East, and its annual Achievement Awards is widely recognized as the premier awards ceremony in the regional business calendar. The black-tie gala ceremony was attended by an elite audience of regional business leaders and international dignitaries including Zain Iraq Chairman, Mohammed Charchafchi and Chief Financial and Operating Officer, Wael Ghanayem.

On announcing the accolade, the editorial team of Arabian Business noted, "The Award confirms the immense contributions Zain Iraq has made to the telecom sector and the country in its 10 years of operation, during which it has become Iraq's leading mobile operator serving over 14.5 million customers reflecting a 48% market share. Zain is one of the most recognizable brands in the country and the operator's exceptional network covers 97% of the population, having invested over US$4.5 billion in Iraq since commencing its operations in 2003. Zain Iraq is an important part of Zain Group, contributing 33% of the Group's customer base and 40% of its revenues."

Furthermore, Arabian Business noted, "Zain Iraq's wide-ranging educational, health and cultural programs are all indicative of a company acting with sound sustainable and corporate socially responsible values."

Zain Iraq Chairman, Mohammed Charchafchi commented on the award: "We are wholeheartedly committed to the continual development of the telecom sector in Iraq and playing our role in the revitalization of the country. We have always considered our journey in Iraq as one with the people and for the people, and I dedicate this award to our 14.5 million loyal customers and our committed 3,000-strong workforce."

Scott Gegenheimer, Zain Group CEO said: "Zain Iraq is in the final stages of preparing for a stock market listing, which will result in more Iraqis gaining ownership of a mobile operator serving their own country. Zain Group will continue to support the local management team whose solid track record is marked by continuing revenue growth and improving profitability over the years, maintaining Zain's undisputed market leadership in Iraq. We appreciate the Zain Iraq team's efforts being recognized at such an important time in the mobile operator's development."

Wael Ghanayem, Chief Financial and Operating Officer of Zain Iraq, added: "As a company it is enormously gratifying to see the ways in which our mobile telephony services have a positive economic and social impact on the daily lives of the Iraqi people. Our numerous sustainable and corporate social responsible programs across the country are just as important to Zain as are our commercial activities. This high level endorsement of our efforts is an added bonus, and we appreciate Arabian Business for recognizing our undertakings on such a prestigious platform."

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The telecom sector in Iraq is a major contributor to the country's GDP and is the country's second largest source of tax revenue. Zain employs over 3,000 highly trained Iraqi nationals directly however the number of Iraqis drawing an income as a consequence of Zain Iraq's operations is estimated at ten times that number.

Zain's modern network infrastructure that has recently expanded to the northern region is ready to offer 3G services nationwide as soon as the Iraq authorities provide the necessary spectrum. Market research indicates huge pent-up potential for Zain Iraq, driven by strong macroeconomic fundamentals, especially in the mobile data segment.

Away from the positive impact Zain Iraq's commercial activities have had on the country, the operator is one of the leading corporate social responsibility contributors in Iraq, with projects ranging from health centers and schooling, to cultural and personal safety campaigns.

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About Zain Iraq
Zain Iraq is part of the Zain Group, a leading telecommunications operator across the Middle East and Africa providing mobile voice and data services to over 44.3 million active customers as of 30 September, 2013. With a commercial presence in 8 countries, Zain operates in: Kuwait, Bahrain, Iraq, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Sudan and South Sudan. In Lebanon, the Group manages 'touch' on behalf of the government. In Morocco, Zain has a 15.5% stake in 'INWI', through a joint venture. For more, please email info@zain.com or visit: www.zain.com

© Press Release 2013