Iraq's communications regulator will fine the local unit of Kuwait telecoms firm Zain $12,864 a day since September 2011 for failing to list on the country's stock exchange, a senior official at the body said.
Zain and rivals Asiacell and Korek are mandated to list on the local bourse as part of their $1.25 billion operating licences but all three missed an initial deadline of last August.
The Communications and Media Commission (CMC) said last Tuesday it would fine Asiacell and Korek for failing to hold an initial public offering.
On Thursday it said Zain Iraq would face a penalty too.
"The hearing committee was of the view that all operators had enough time, more than four years, to prepare for the IPO, so there's no excuse," Ahmed Alomary, CMC commissioner, told Reuters.
He said Zain Iraq had been given a bigger fine because it had more subscribers than the other two mobile phone operators.
A second fine of 200 million Iraqi dinars ($172,000) had also been issued to Zain for using a new mobile phone number range without the CMC's permission, he said.
All three mobile phone operators have previously said they are working towards listing on the Iraq Stock Exchange. France Telecom and Kuwait's Agility hold stakes in Korek while Asiacell is majority-owned by Qatar Telecom .
Iraq did not have a mobile phone market under Saddam Hussein and the sector has blossomed since his fall from power in 2003, offering double-digit subscriber growth. It is the fastest growing industry in the war-battered country after oil. ($1 = 1163.0000 Iraqi dinars)