The first phase of the Omani government’s planned divestment of a 19% stake in Oman Telecommunications Company (Omantel) will commence next week, Times of Oman reports. The initial stage will see a private placement of 71.25 million shares open to Omani individual and institutional investors based on a book-building approach, according to Saud bin Nasser Al Shukaili, chairman of the supervisory committee overseeing the process. The minimum application size is two million shares and interested investors can obtain the private placement memorandum and the investor qualification form from issue managers Bank Muscat. Under the second phase, an initial public offering (IPO) for local citizens is expected to be launched by the end of March. Overall, the divestment will see the state’s ownership in Omantel reduced from 70% to 51%; 30% of the telco is already publicly owned.