25 firms interested in Kuwait mobile stake

Local and foreign companies register to take part in public auction.

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By  Michele Howe Published  August 23, 2007

To date, 25 companies have registered their interest in participating in the auction for a 26% stake in the new mobile operator under formation in Kuwait, its establishing committee said yesterday.

The registered bidders include 14 companies listed on the Kuwait Stock Exchange and 11 foreign telecommunications operator, the committee said in a statement.

The 11 foreign operators include companies from the GCC, India, Korea, Egypt, Turkey and Greece, a spokesperson for the Kuwait Investment Authority (KIA) told ITP.net.

Turkcell said on 7 August it planned to take part in the tender.

A report last week by the Middle East Economic Digest said that the KIA had shortlisted 10 consortiums for the stake.

However, the KIA spokesperson told ITP.net that shortlisting would take place only after the closure of the registration process on 7 September.

The establishing committee is overseeing the formation of Kuwait's third mobile operator in the absence of an official telecommunications regulatory authority in Kuwait. The Ministry of Telecommunications is in the process of setting up such an authority, according to a recent report in the Arab Times.

The remaining ownership of the new mobile operator in Kuwait will be split between the government (24%) and an initial public offering (50%), which is expected to take place in December.

The operator will compete with Mobile Telecoms Company (MTC) and Wataniya.

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