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Sun 3 Feb 2008 01:40 PM

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Oman to privatise two power firms

Investor interest huge with at least three blue-chip groups having expressed interest, official says.

Oman will mobilise plans to privatise a utilities firm and a company that oversees a power distribution grid in the Gulf state, officials said in remarks published on Sunday.

"The government will shortly initiate the privatisation of Oman Electricity Transmission Company (OETC)," the daily Oman Observer reported, citing Ministry of National Economy Secretary-General Mohammad bin Nasser Al-Khusaibi.

Al Ghubrah Power and Desalination Company was also earmarked for imminent privatisation, the newspaper quoted John Cunneen, executive director of the Authority for Electricity Regulation.

Investor interest in the state-owned company was huge, with at least three blue-chip groups having expressed interest, Cunneen added.

"Privatisation is based on providing international investors the right to secure 100% of the companies in which they invest, with the subsequent requirement that they offer at least 35% through the local capital market," Cunneen said.

Muscat Electricity Distribution Company, Majan Electricity Company, and Mazoon Electricity Company are also lined up for privatisation at a later stage, the newspaper said.

The Gulf state started the privatisation programme in 2006 with Al-Rusail Power Company. (Reuters)

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