Omantel expects to take $24m hit in Q4

Oman Telecoms sees OR9.2m one-off charge after offering voluntary redundancies in a bid to cut costs.

Oman Telecommunications Co (Omantel) said on Thursday it could take a one-off charge of OR9.2m ($23.90m) in the fourth quarter after offering voluntary redundancies as it looks to cut costs.

"The assumption is the entire 134 people will sign up for the programme ... the likleihood is high," Vice-President Finance Talal Said Al Mamari said in a post-earnings conference call. Omantel reported on Wednesday a third-quarter net profit of 32.8 million rials ($85.21 million), up 1.86 percent from a year earlier.

Omantel , Oman's largest company by market value, is also waiting for shareholders to approve a $50 million injection into its Pakistani unit Worldcall, Mamari said. The group is still deciding whether to use equity or raise debt to finance the injection.

Omantel bought 488.8 million shares of Pakistan's Worldcall Telecom Ltd, equivalent to 65 percent of the company, in February 2008. The $193 million deal marks its biggest foreign investment so far. But Worldcall's shares have fallen sharply since.

Omantel shares closed down 0.2 percent on Thursday. (Reuters)

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