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Tue 2 Oct 2007 08:19 PM

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Kuwait's Kharafi raises stake in Zain

Family-owned conglomerate now controls over 9.5% of second largest Arab telecom firm.

Kuwait's Kharafi Group has bought more shares in Mobile Telecommunications (Zain), through one of its units, bourse data showed after trading ended on Tuesday.

Al-Khair National for Stocks and Real Estate, which belongs to the family-owned conglomerate, now holds 9.59% of Zain, the exchange said on its website. It held previously around 9.46% of Kuwait's biggest stock.

The stock of Zain has doubled in value this year, partly on speculation that a foreign investor was looking to buy into the company, the second largest Arab telecom firm by market value.

Kharafi Group is Zain's second largest shareholder through Al-Khair, according to the bourse website. The biggest shareholder is state-owned Kuwait Investment Authority (KIA), whose stake was unchanged at 24.608%.

The Kharafi Group said in June any sale of its stake in Zain would be made in concert with other shareholders.

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