Oger Telecom submits official bid for Saudi licence

Mohamed Hariri, chairman of Oger Telecom on February 26 announced that Oger Telecom Consortium has submitted its bid to the CITC for the third mobile licence in Saudi Arabia.

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By  Administrator Published  March 1, 2007

Mohamed Hariri, chairman of Oger Telecom on February 26 announced that Oger Telecom Consortium has submitted its bid to the CITC for the third mobile licence in Saudi Arabia.

"The consortium includes a reputable and strong investor base, and did submit a competitive offer," commented Hariri. He also reaffirmed the consortium's commitment to the Saudi market and its healthy, rapidly growing telecom sector.

Eight other international players are lined up to bid for Saudi's third GSM licence, including Orascom Telecom, MTC, MTN, and Singapore operator SingTel. Industry insiders speculate the mobile licence could fetch up to SR15 billion (US$4 billion).

"The companies I see battling fiercely are MTC and Orascom. They have announced that they do not have any problem paying more than the amount paid for the second licence. They want to enter the Saudi market," commented Marc Hammoud, senior analyst of research firm Shuaa Capital.

The Saudi government has issued a mandate that states any prospective mobile or fixed-line entrant float 40% and 25%, respectively, for public subscription.

The government has also declared that the state-owned pension fund and the General Organisation for Social Insurance (GOSI) would each claim a 5% stake in both the new mobile and landline enterprises, following the endowment of the kingdom's third GSM concession, and second fixed-line licence, the application deadline for which was extended to February 24 and March 10 respectively by the Saudi regulatory authority.

"Any company licensed to provide land phone services will float 25% of its capital for public subscription and allocate 10% of its shares to the Pension Fund and GOSI (5% each). It will have the choice to float additional shares four years after its formation," read a Saudi government statement.

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