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Oman approves telecoms sell off

The Omani government has given the green light to plans to privatise the state telecoms company, Omantel. The announcement comes after a two year delay blamed on the global slowdown.

The privatisation of Oman Telecommunications is to go ahead after the Omani government approved plans to offer a 40 percent stake.

Privatisation plans were revived in January after a two year delay. The plans were finally approved at the first meeting of the ministerial committee in charge of privatisation.

The government will keep a 51 percent controlling stake, with a further 40 percent being offered to investors and the remaining nine given to Omani retirement funds, according to Transport and Telecommunications Minister Malik bin Suleiman Al-Muammari.

Omani officials had earlier said the government would only hold a 34 percent stake after the sell-off.

“The government is committed to proceed in privatising the company because conditions on world telecommunications markets are suitable at this stage,” said Muammari.

The process was delayed by the global slowdown, he said, but the government aims to privatise the sector by 2003.

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