The UAE-based telco Etisalat has offloaded part of its stake in Saudi cellular operator Mobily. Etisalat has seen its share of Mobily fall from 35% to 26.25% as part of a plan to sell a total 20% stake in the operator. The sale of the 20% interest is required as part of Mobily’s original licence terms. Once the sale is complete Mobily will raise its capital by 40% to SAR7 billion (USD1.87 billion). Reuters reports that 200 million new shares will be issued at SAR10 each, with founding shareholders taking 60% of the new shares. Mobily launched in mid-2005 and now claims 40% of the Saudi cellular market, with 11.1 million subscribers at the end of 2007. It reported sales of SAR8.44 billion in 2007, up 44% year-on-year, while net profits almost doubled at SAR1.38 billion.