Kuwait-based logistics company Agility is considering selling its stake in Kurdish mobile operator Korek Telecom, writes local daily Al Watan citing a source close to Agility’s board of directors. According to the report, the Kuwaiti firm has reached the final stages of talks to sell its 51% stake in Iraq’s third largest cellco by subscribers. ‘The company will always look to exit its investments if that was to the benefit of its shareholders and stakeholders,’ said Agility in a statement to the Dubai Financial Market. According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms database, the UAE’s incumbent telco Etisalat was said to be close to acquiring a stake in Korek in October 2008, after reports circulated that it was in the final stage of talks to buy a majority stake worth up to USD1 billion in a Middle East telecoms operator. Korek was originally licensed for five years to provide mobile services in Kurdistan in November 2000 and operations were launched in the following August over a GSM-900 network. In August 2007 Korek won one of the Communications & Media Commission’s (CMC’s) national cellular licences alongside Kuwait’s Zain and Qtel-backed AsiaCell for USD1.25 billion.
In a separate story, Iraq’s second largest cellco by subscribers Asiacell has announced the launch of its new Melody service, which enables customers to replace traditional ring tones with personalised songs of their choice. From 1 September subscribers will be able to activate the Melody service by dialling 300 or by sending an SMS to the number 300.