Orascom sheds 2% stake in HTIL

Egyptian telecom operator sells further stake in Hong Kong-based Hutchison Telecom

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By  Roger Field Published  November 14, 2007

Egypt's Orascom Telecom Holding has sold some 94.2 million shares in Hutchison Telecommunications International Ltd, a Hong Kong-based telecom operator, for $129.4 million.

The sale, which represented about 2% of HTIL's outstanding shares, reduces Orascom's stake in the company to 14.2%. In October, Orascom sold a 3% stake in HTIL, worth about $198 million.

The move is in line with Orascom's strategy to gain funds while also retaining its governance rights and board seats, which requires the company to have a minimum 12% stake in HTIL.

However, some analysts think Orascom could be preparing to sell its entire stake in the company. Investment bank Goldman Sachs said it was a "matter of time before Orascom Telecom sells out entirely," after the company sold its 3% HTIL stake in late October, Reuters reported.

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