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Saudi Oger in talks to buy Wataniya stake

Negotiations with Saudi Oger are "in very advanced stages", claims newspaper.

Saudi Oger is in talks to buy a 10% stake in National Mobile Telecommunications Co. (Wataniya) from Kuwait Projects Co. (KIPCO), a newspaper said on Thursday.

KIPCO, which owns around 24% of Kuwait's second mobile phone company, said on Wednesday it was in talks with several parties to sell its stake, but had not concluded any deal.

Negotiations with Saudi Oger were "in very advanced stages" and transaction could take place at 4 dinars ($13.83) per share, al Qabas newspaper reported without saying how it got the information.

Officials at KIPCO and Wataniya could not be reached on Thursday which is not a working day in Kuwait.

Mazen Fayed, a spokesman for Saudi Oger, declined to comment on the report.

Saudi Oger is controlled by Lebanon's al-Hariri family and owns the Dubai-based Oger Telecom.

On Wednesday Al-Rai newspaper quoted unnamed sources as saying KIPCO was nearing a deal to sell its stake Wataniya at a premium to its market price.

Wataniya's shares closed at 3.100 dinars on Wednesday.

Wataniya, whose home market has a mobile phone penetration of more than 90%, has been expanding abroad as Kuwait prepares to licence a third mobile phone company.