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Government calls off Omantel sale

7 Jan 2009

The Omani government has cancelled its proposed sale of a 25% stake in Oman Telecommunications Company (Omantel) because of negative effects of international financial markets, writes Middle East Business Intelligence. The country’s Finance Ministry said it was stopping the sale process because of the ‘unprecedented market volatility and economic conditions’. The planned stake sale was announced in July 2008 and attracted interest from, amongst others, Kuwait’s Zain Group, Saudi Telecom Company (STC) and India’s Bharti Airtel, after saying it could give the incoming investor voting rights in the firm. In mid-October the Ministry said that eight parties had been selected to participate in a second phase of the sale process, which it had hoped to conclude by end-2008. The government owns 70% of Omantel; it listed 30% of shares in the full-service telco on the Muscat Securities Market in July 2005.

Oman, Oman Telecommunications Company (Omantel)

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