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Sun 7 Nov 2010 08:03 PM

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Zain board approves opening books to Etisalat source

Gulf Arab region's third biggest telecoms firm, sold its African assets this year

Zain board approves opening books to Etisalat source
Etisalat which offered to buy 46% stake in the telco, said deal dependent on sale of Zain Saudi assets

The board of Kuwaiti telecom Zain approved opening the company's books for due diligence by UAE's Etisalat which has offered to buy 46 percent of the firm, a source close to the deal told Reuters on Sunday.

Etisalat, the Gulf's second largest telecoms group, offered in September to buy a 46 percent stake in Zain for $6.07 a share, in a deal worth just under $12 billion.

Etisalat said on Wednesday it was making any deal dependent on the sale of Zain's Saudi assets.

Earlier on Sunday, Zain said in a statement to the Kuwaiti bourse that its board would meet to discuss a request submitted by Kharafi Group's Al Khair National to open Zain's books to Etisalat.

Zain, the Gulf Arab region's third biggest telecoms firm, sold its African assets this year but still operates in high growth Middle Eastern markets such as Iraq and Lebanon, among others.

Zain's shares closed 2.8 percent up on Sunday on the Kuwaiti bourse, while Etisalat's shares closed 0.5 percent higher on the Abu Dhabi bourse.(Reuters)

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