Home / Kuwait mobile sale "will cost the public millions"

Kuwait mobile sale "will cost the public millions"

Kuwait's parliament has voted to hold an urgent debate on the cut-price sale of MTC after a group of MPs claimed it would benefit a few individuals while losing the country over $150 million.

The part-privatisation of Kuwait’s largest mobile phone operator is in jeopardy after the country’s parliament voted to hold an urgent debate on the issue, amid allegations that the sale will benefit a few individuals at the expense of the public.

36 members of parliament made the move after it was announced that the sale of half the state’s 49.2% share in Mobiles Telecommunications Co at a discounted price would deprive the public purse of US $162 million.

The controversial plan would allow a buyer to snap up 113 million shares in MTC for 25% less than they are actually worth.

The MPs who requested an investigation said that the arrangement “is surrounded by many questions,” hinting that it could lead to personal gain for a handful of people while losing the country millions of dollars.

Shares in MTC, the largest of Kuwait’s two mobile operators, slipped 5.2% last week when the initial announcement of the cut-price sale was made.

The Kuwait Investment Authority launched a privatisation programme in 1994 to sell off local companies, making $3 billion in the process.

The plan was scrapped three years ago amid fears of under-valuing companies when the market started to decline.

The KIA has tried to resurrect the programme, but the opposition MPs said that the previous system cost the public millions, and that to re-launch the same plan would be disastrous for Kuwait as a whole.

Follow us to get the most comprehensive technology news in UAE delivered fresh from our social media accounts on Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, and listen to our Weekly Podcast. Click here to sign up for our weekly newsletter on curated technology news in the Middle East and Worldwide.

REGISTER NOW | Webinar Event | Security you can bank on – Safeguarding the Middle East’s financial sector

Presented in partnership with security and network specialist Cybereason, the second in the three part webinar series will bring together a panel of experts to discuss how banks and financial institutions are evolving their service offering while simultaneously staying one step ahead of the cyber criminals who seek to bring their operations crashing to the ground.