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Sat 28 Oct 2006 12:00 AM

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MTC prepares bid for Saudi licence

Mobile Telecommunications Company (MTC) has announced that it is on the look out for new investment opportunities and will be bidding for the third mobile phone licence in Saudi.

“We are continuously on the look-out for new profitable opportunities,” Asaad Ahmed Al-Banwan, chairman of MTC, revealed as he announced the firm’s third quarter results.

“The kingdom of Saudi Arabia has launched a process that will lead to a third licence award and we will participate,” he said.

He added that the company was also considering a couple of smaller opportunities in Africa.

Established in 1983 as one of the first mobile operators in Kuwait, MTC has been on a rapid expansion drive in the last three and a half years, gaining a foothold in 20 different countries in the Middle East and Africa (MEA) region.

It now claims to be the fourth largest mobile company in the world.

The telecommunications giant reported a 64% rise in net profit to US$771.85million for the first three quarters of 2006 against the first three quarters of 2005.

Sales leapt up 115% to US$2.93 billion.

Growth was driven by organic growth, new licence awards and acquisitions in the past few years since starting its expansion strategy, the firm said.

“MTC is becoming a telecommunications powerhouse,” claimed Sam Deeb, chief financial officer at MTC.

“We strive to accomplish the transformation of MTC into a global company without compromise,” he continued.

“The rapid growth both organically and through acquisitions has created some challenges and opportunities that we will leverage to be among the best companies in the world,” he added.

MTC also announced it had extended its existing US$750million Murabaha financing facility agreement for one year from its maturity in December, 2006.

MTC operates in Kuwait, Bahrain, Jordan, Iraq and Lebanon in the Middle East as well in sub-Saharan countries in Africa.

It serves 24.9 million customers in total.

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