KIA considers Zain stake sale

28 Jul 2009

According to a report in Kuwaiti daily Al Rai, the Kuwait Investment Authority (KIA), the largest single shareholder in Zain Group, would consider selling its 24.9% stake in the mobile operator if offered an attractive price. Last week, Zain CEO Jalal al-Jarwan revealed in an interview with news agency Reuters that Etisalat of the UAE was interested in purchasing a 51% share of the cellco, although negotiations have not yet begun. Today’s report, citing unnamed sources, will renew speculation surrounding a potential sale, with KIA reportedly stating that it had no objection to discussing a deal as long as any bid is serious.

KIA, a state-owned wealth fund, sold its 19.8% stake in Islamic lender Boubyan Bank in an auction last week and Kuwait’s finance minister, Mustapha al-Shamali, said earlier this month that KIA may sell further stakes in local companies.

Kuwait, Etisalat UAE, Zain Group, Zain Kuwait