Zain shareholders to vote on ownership restriction
Lifting limits would pave the way for selling a large stake in Kuwait telecom firm
Kuwait's largest mobile telephone firm Zain said on Sunday it would ask shareholders to vote on removing certain ownership restrictions, a move that would pave the way for selling a large stake.
Last week, al-Rai newspaper, citing unidentified sources, said that Zain's largest shareholders were in talks with a major Asian telecoms group to sell more than 40 percent of the firm.
Zain wants shareholders to vote on cancelling an article of company regulations that prevents any investor from subscribing for more than 1,000 shares, or holding more than 2 percent of the firm's capital, the company said in an invitation to shareholders published in a local newspaper on Sunday.
The proposed change, subject to a vote on August 31, would also allow local shareholder firms to own stakes higher than 5 percent.
Zain's shares surged more than 3 percent after the firm said it would hold an extra-ordinary shareholder meeting, as there was speculation in the market that the meeting could prepare for a possible stake sale to a foreign firm.
Zain has been in the news in recent weeks after it said it is still reviewing a possible sale of its African operations - excluding Morocco and Sudan - after French media and telecoms conglomerate Vivendi broke off talks on buying the operations. (Reuters)