Kuwait sovereign fund may sell Zain stake
Kuwait City, May 31, 2010
Kuwait Investment Authority (KIA), the country's sovereign wealth fund, may sell its 24.6 percent stake in telecoms firm Zain, according to a newspaper report on Monday.
Daily Al-Qabas, citing unidentified sources, said KIA has asked several investment firms to conduct technical studies on Zain group. The fund would then consider options to either sell its stake to a strategic investor or through an auction.
KIA's stake is currently worth about $4.5 billion, the paper said.
The mobile operator struck a deal in March to sell its operations in 15 African countries to India's Bharti Airtel. Last week, it said it will distribute a large portion of proceeds from the $9 billion asset sale to shareholders.
In October, KIA's managing director Bader Al-Saad said the fund might sell its Zain stake if the price is right. He had said that 2 dinars ($6.87) per share was a "good price".
Zain shares, halted on Sunday pending the distribution of its 2009 dividend, last traded at 1.34 dinars. -Reuters