Investigation into Umniah sale ordered

6 Jan 2012

Jordan’s parliament has instructed that an investigation be carried out regarding the sale of local telco Umniah, which is now owned by Bahrain-based Batelco, reports The Jordan Times. During two weeks of discussions on a number of potential corruption cases, MPs criticised the way that the privatisation process had been carried out, saying that the government had sold its shares in the company at a ‘shamefully low price’ to an investor before it was sold on to Batelco for the much higher price of USD415 million in 2006. Before the company was sold off, the government awarded it an operating licence for just USD5.6 million, granted the telco tax emptions and other concessions to assist its overall growth. The sale has been investigated in the past, when it was referred to the judiciary in 2007; however, the Amman prosecutor general found at that time that there had been no wrongdoing.