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Mon 18 Aug 2008 01:11 PM

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Samsung targets Saudi for major growth

Mobile phone giant reveals it is looking to Saudi market as part of expansion bid.

Mobile phone giant Samsung is targeting Saudi Arabia as part of its expansion plans, following its announcement of a 22 percent second quarter sales increase.

As the number two player in the market, Samsung said on Monday it has some of the greatest expectations for growth in Saudi Arabia.

The kingdom's telecom regulator estimates the number of mobile users to have risen from just 2.5 million five years ago to 20 million today.

In the coming five years mobile penetration rates in the kingdom are expected to catch up with the UAE and Qatar and rise to well over 100 per cent.

Sandeep Saihgal, general manager, handheld phones, Samsung Gulf Electronics, said: “Saudi Arabia is currently one of our most important markets for smart phones because of its excellent growth potential and will be significantly affected by the sustained development of the industry’s ICT sector, which accounts for 40 per cent of an estimated 18 billion dirham Gulf market.

"The liberalisation of Saudi's telecommunications sector is also expected to further boost demand for IT-intensive mobile phones.”

He added: “Emerging markets like the Middle East continued to drive growth this first half.”

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