Etisalat denies interest in Zain stake

UAE telecom firm statement says it did not present bid for stake in Kuwait company.

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By  Elsa Baxter Published  July 23, 2009

Emirates Telecommunications Corportation (Etisalat) has denied reports that it was looking to buy a stake in Kuwait’s Zain Group.

“We would like to inform you that Emirates Telecommunications Corportation (Etisalat) did not present any proposal or bid to acquire a stake in Zain or any of its assets in Africa,” a statement by the telecoms firm to the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange said on Thursday.

“We would also like to inform you that Etisalat did not negotiate nor discuss any of these issues with Zain officials,” the statement continued.

On Tuesday, Etisalat’s chief executive Jamal al-Jarwan told Reuters news agency that the firm was looking to buy a 51 percent stake in Zain at the right price.

Etisalat’s share price rose on the back of the news, ending 1.4 percent higher.

Thursday’s statement was made on behalf of the firm’s chief financial officer Salem Ali Al Sharhan.

Etisalat operates in 18 countries, including Egypt and India.

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