Zain shares tumble after Saudi stake sale abandoned

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Zain has 160 official outlets and over 3,000 authorised distribution points of sales in Saudi Arabia. Photo - comm.ae

Shares of Mobile Telecommunications Co. ofSaudi Arabia, popularly known as Zain Saudi Arabia, tumbled last week afterKingdom Holding Co. andBahrain Telecom Co. abandoned their offer to purchase a stake.

The shares declined 2.4 percent, the largest loss since mid August, trading down as much as 4.8 percent.

Kingdom and Bahrain Telecom said last week they would not proceed with a $950 million bid for Zain Groups 25 percent stake in Zain Saudi Arabia, the countrys third-largest mobile-phone company by market value.

The companies launched their joint bid for the 25 percent chunk of the Zain Saudi unit in March. Zain had been seeking to sell its stake in the Saudi division as part of a separate merger effort that has since fallen through.

Kuwait’s Zain statement did not give any reason for the failure of talks with the Bahraini-Saudi consortium, but reiterated its commitment for the development of Zain Saudi Arabia, one of three telecoms firms in the Kingdom.

The announcement comes after a Kuwaiti court on Sunday annulled the election of the board of directors of Zain, citing flawed procedures.

Zain Group, the Kuwaiti mobile phone company that failed to complete a $12 billion deal with Etisalat, and failed its attempt to sell a stake in its Saudi unit, would hurt efforts to cut debt as it fights a court annulment of its board.

Sources: Bloomberg, Saudi Gazette

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