Etisalat Renews Contract with Mobily

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UAE’s Etisalat has renewed a management agreement with its Saudi Arabian affiliate Etihad Etisalat (Mobily) for five more years, the telecoms firm said in a statement on Sunday.

Etisalat, which holds a 27.4 percent stake in Mobily, said in the statement. The renewed contract starts from Dec 23.

Mobily, which competes with state-controlled Saudi Telecom and Zain?Saudi Arabia, proposed a half-year dividend of 1.25 riyals ($0.33) per share on Saturday.

Earlier this month, Mobily posted a 29 percent rise in second-quarter net profit to SR1.164 billion as compared to SR901 million in the same period last year.

The increase in revenues was attributed to higher minutes of usage, data transmission and increase in Smartphone sales. In spite of the intense competition in data services, data revenues showed a remarkable increase of 46 percent in the first half of the year 2011.

Etisalat, the United Arab Emirates’ largest telecoms carrier, stated in a report that it’s quarterly profit fell 14.9 percent, missing analysts’ forecasts, as operating costs rose amid increasing competition in its home market.

The former monopoly, which operates in 18 countries, reported a second-quarter profit of 1.59 billion dirhams ($433 million), down from 1.87 billion dirhams in the year-earlier period.

Embarking on an ambitious expansion plan across the region andAfrica, Etisalat won the Saudi mobile license with the highest bid for US$3.45bn in August 2004, thus ending Saudi Telecom Company?s monopoly in the wireless business segment.

Mobily launched its services on 25th May 2005 and in less than a year attracted 3.8 million subscribers, growing to over 17 million after the first half of this year.?The company?s strong performance has been supported by Saudi?s relatively lower mobile penetration rates, and supportive regulatory environment.

Sources: Reuters, arabnews, etisalat, globalinv

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