Zain buys 56% stake in Palestinian telecom firm

Kuwait firm obtains stake as part of share swap with PalTel that operates in Gaza.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        

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By  Suleiman Al Khalidi Published  May 18, 2009

Kuwait's Mobile Telecommunications Co (Zain) has bought a 56.3 percent stake in Palestine Telecommunication Co (PalTel) in a share swap that gives it majority control, board members said.

Officials from both companies signed the deal in the Jordanian capital Amman on Monday, they said.

The Kuwaiti firm said in January it was in advanced talks to become a strategic partner in Palestinian operator Palestine Telecommunication Company (PalTel).

PalTel operates in the West Bank and Gaza Strip and has had a record year of profits.

Kuwait's biggest mobile operator is spending billions to expand and now operates in 22 countries in the Middle East and Africa.

A second Palestinian mobile network, Wataniya, is expected to come into operation this year.

Wataniya is owned by Qatar Telecommunications Co. and the Palestinian Authority's Palestinian Investment Fund. (Reuters)

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