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Govt to revive plans to sell 30% stake in Omantel?

18 Jan 2010

The government of Oman may revive its plan to sell a 30% stake in the country’s incumbent telecoms operator Oman Telecommunications Company (Omantel) this year, Reuters reports, citing the minister of national economy. ‘We are waiting for the global market to recover so we can start looking for a strategic investor again for Omantel,’ economy minister Ahmed Mekki revealed, adding, ‘It may happen this year provided it is favourable to us.’ According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, Omantel is 70%-owned by the state, with the remaining 30% held by private investors. In July 2008 the government announced plans to sell a 25% stake in Omantel, aimed at boosting the firm’s competitive position. The Ministry of Finance (MoF) invited expressions of interest from strategic investors, and was advised on the process by Citigroup Global Markets and National Bank of Oman. In mid-October 2008 it was confirmed that eight parties had been selected to participate in the second phase of the sale process, with Saudi Telecom Company (STC), Kuwaiti giant Zain, Indian operator Bharti Airtel and UAE’s Etisalat all reported as potential bidders. However, in late December 2008 the government cancelled the sale, blaming ‘unprecedented market volatility and economic conditions.’

Oman, Oman Telecommunications Company (Omantel)

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