India’s Reliance denies Kuwait Zain stake link

India’s second largest telco says not in talks to buy stake in Zain, or purchase African assets.

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By  John Mair Published  September 7, 2009

India's Reliance Communications is not in talks to buy a stake in Kuwaiti telecoms firm Zain or its African assets, a spokesman for the Indian firm said on Monday.

"We deny any such move," Gaurav Wahi, a Mumbai-based spokesman, told Reuters when asked whether India's second-ranked mobile operator was interested in Zain or its African assets.

Kuwaiti family conglomerate Kharafi Group is preparing to sell a stake in Zain, the second-largest telecommunications firm in the Gulf, in a deal that would value the investment at $13.7 billion.

Zain had said last month that it was in negotiations with three firms, including an Indian firm, to sell a stake in its African business, which represent about 62 percent of its customers.

Two banking sources told Reuters in August that Reliance Communications had started talks to buy Zain's African operations and was in the preliminary stage of evaluating the deal. (Reuters)

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