Monday, July 27, 2009

KIA Willing to Sell off Its Stake in Zain

Kuwait Investment Authority (KIA), the Gulf state's sovereign wealth fund, could consider selling its stake in mobile operator Zain if the price is right, newspaper al-Rai said on Monday.
KIA, which owns a 24.61 percent stake in Zain, has not received any offers from Etisalat, to date, the paper added.
"The KIA has no objection to discussing any offer to buy its stake in Zain whether made by the UAE's Etisalat or others under the condition that the offer would be serious and with attractive returns," daily Rai said, citing unnamed sources.
KIA could not immediately be reached for comment.
Last week, Etisalat, or the Emirates Telecommunications Corp, said it has not made an offer to buy Zain or its African assets after the head of Etisalat's international unit told Reuters earlier that it was interested in buying a 51-percent stake in Zain Group, "given the right values."
The Kuwaiti firm has been in the news for the past weeks after it said it is still reviewing a possible sale of its African operations -- excluding Morocco and Sudan -- after French media and telecoms conglomerate Vivendi broke off talks on buying the operations.
KIA, which manages the OPEC member state's massive oil-generated assets, sold its 19.8 percent stake in Islamic lender Boubyan Bank in an auction last week.
Kuwait's finance minister, Mustapha al-Shamali, said earlier this month the KIA may sell further stakes in local companies through an auction process.

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