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Fri 11 Sep 2009 05:25 PM

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Zain CEO to stick to goals after stake sale - paper

Family conglomerate Kharafi Group plans to sell a 46 percent stake in Zain.

Kuwait telecoms firm
Zain

will stick to its goals and future plans after shareholders said they would sell 46 percent of the company, its chief executive said in remarks published on Friday.

"The agreement to sell 46 percent of
Zain

will not change anything from the commitments of the executive management... in carrying out its future plans," Saad Al Barrak told daily newspaper Al Watan. Family conglomerate Kharafi Group said it would sell a 46 percent stake in
Zain

- comprising its estimated 20 percent holding plus that of other shareholders - in a deal valuing the investment at $13.7bn.

A consortium of Indian telecom companies and a Malaysian investor signed an agreement on Tuesday to buy the stake. Kharafi Group's vice president Badr al-Kharafi said on Tuesday the consortium is led by India's Vavasi Group and includes regional telecom companies Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd and Mahanagar Telephone Nigam, and Malaysian billionaire Syed Mokhtar al-Bukhary.

Vavasi Group unit Vavasi Telegence's managing director, Farid Arifuddin, said talks were ongoing with BSNL and MTNL and an agreement clarifying some of the commercial aspects of the deal would be reached soon, Kuwaiti daily newspaper Al-Anbaa reported on Friday. BSNL and MTNL said on Wednesday, a day after the deal, they had not decided whether to join the consortium. (Reuters)

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