Kuwait sovereign fund may sell 24.6% Zain stake

Managing director said in Oct 2009 that it would sell stake 'if price was right'.
Kuwait sovereign fund may sell 24.6% Zain stake
TELECOMS SALE: Kuwait Investment Authority has said that it may sell its 24.6% stake in telecoms firm, Zain. (Getty Images)
By Eman Goma
Mon 31 May 2010 08:33 PM

Kuwait Investment Authority (KIA), the country's sovereign wealth fund, may sell its 24.6 percent stake in telecoms firm Zain, according to a newspaper report on Monday. But the fund denied it sought help to evaluaute the fair price of Zain shares, and said it would be "transparent" about any possible intention to sell.

In an emailed statement KIA said: "The Kuwait Investment Authority did not commission any party to evaluate the fair price of Zain shares ahead of selling its stake to a strategic investor."

Daily al Qabas, citing unidentified sources, said KIA has asked several investment firms to conduct technical studies on Zain group and the fair price of its shares.

The fund would then consider options to either sell its stake to a strategic investor or through an auction.

KIA's stake is currently worth about $4.5 billion, the paper said.

The mobile operator struck a deal in March to sell its operation's in 15 African countries to India's Bharti Airtel.

Last week, it said it would distribute a large portion of proceeds from the $9 billion asset sale to shareholders.

In October, KIA's Managing Director Bader al Saad said the fund might sell its Zain stake if the price is right. He had said that 2 dinars ($6.87) per share was a "good price".

Zain shares, halted on Sunday pending the distribution of its 2009 dividend, last traded at $4.44. (Reuters)

For all the latest Kuwait news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Subscribe to Arabian Business' newsletter to receive the latest breaking news and business stories in Dubai,the UAE and the GCC straight to your inbox.