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Wed 19 May 2004 04:00 AM

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GIC to invest in Wataniya’s Algerian arm

Gulf Investment Corporation (GIC) plans to take a 20% stake in Wataniya Telecom Algerie (WTA.)

Gulf Investment Corporation (GIC) plans to take a 20% stake in Wataniya Telecom Algerie (WTA), pending approval from the relevant authorities in the North African state.

WTA is the Algerian subsidiary of Kuwait-based Wataniya Telecom, a mobile services operator with networks in several Arab countries.

The value of the deal is not clear. A statement says that WTA is capitalised at about US $210 million, although whether that means GIC is investing $42 million for its 20% stake is not specified.

Wataniya entered Algeria after winning a tender against several rivals. Its license entitles it to operate a GSM network in the country for 15 years. WTA is expected to begin operations in major cities before the end of 2004.

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