Plans for Kuwait's third telco move forward

KIA presents outline for setting up new operator to cabinet, telco's IPO to launch in December.

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By  Safura Rahimi and Dyland Bowman Published  July 29, 2007

The Kuwaiti government has brought forward the launch of an initial public offering for the country's third mobile operator by a month, according to a Kuwaiti newspaper.

The government previously said the IPO would begin in January next year, but Al Seyassah reported today the offering will now happen in December.

The government plans to sell a 76% stake in the operator, 50% through the IPO and the remaining 26% in in a tender open to foreign firms and local non-telecom firms.

The new firm is scheduled to start operations in the first quarter of 2008 with a capital of 50 million dinars ($173.5 million).

Al Seyassah reported that shares in the IPO will only be offered to Kuwaitis.

Kuwait Investment Authority (KIA) - the government investment arm that specialises in local and foreign investment - on Saturday presented an outline for establishing the operator to cabinet, reported Kuwait News Agency (KUNA).

Earlier this month the committee responsible for the formation of the telco invited expressions of interest from firms for the 26% share.

The country currently has two mobile companies - Mobile Telecommuncations Company (MTC) and National Mobile Telecommunications Company (Wataniya).

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