Etisalat nets $634mn from Mobily sale
UAE telecom sold 43.75 million shares in Saudi affiliate as required by its licence, now holds 26.25% stake.
UAE telecom Etisalat said on Tuesday it sold 43.75 million shares in Saudi affiliate Etihad Etisalat (Mobily), generating returns of 2.33 billion dirhams ($634.3 million).
Profit from the sale will be counted in the company's second-quarter earnings, it said in a statement on the Abu Dhabi bourse website.
The company sold the shares at 55 riyals each ($14.67), or a total 2.41 billion riyals, it said.
Etisalat said last week it sold a stake in Mobily, as required by its licence. It did not give details at the time.
Etisalat's holding in the firm is now 26.25%, compared with 35%, it said then.
Six Saudi institutional investors, including state-run Public Pension Agency and General Organisation for Social Insurance (GOSI), have held 45% of the Mobily's shares.
Mobily, one of two mobile telephone service providers operating in a country of 24 million people, started operations in mid-2005. It has since claimed a 40% market share.
Its 2007 profit almost doubled to 1.38 billion riyals on a 44.3% increase in sales to 8.44 billion riyals.
Mobily and its rival Saudi Telecom Company will face more competition this year when a group led by Kuwait's Zain starts operating a third mobile network in the kingdom. (Reutersl)