Advanced Search
Business | Metro | Nation | World | Sports | Features | Specials | Delta Stories
Omani gov't stops sale of stake in Omantel due to global financial crisis
30/12/2008 17:37

The government of Oman decided to stop its plan to sell its 25 percent stake in Oman Telecommunications Company (Omantel), the country's state-controlled telecom company, local newspaper Gulf News reported today.

The decision was made due to the current conditions in the global capital markets posed by the financial crisis, according to the report.

"Despite the solid progress we have made with the sale process to date, and the continued strong interest shown by the bidders, the unprecedented market volatility and economic conditions that we are seeing globally has led to the government taking the prudent decision to stop the sale process," Darwish Esmail Al Balushi, secretary general of the Ministry of Finance, was quoted as saying.

The Omani government launched the process of selling its 25 percent stake in Omantel in a bid to seek a strategic partner for Omantel to further strengthen the company's market position and establish it as a world-class provider of telecom services within the country and outside.

Omantel is the largest telecom service provider in Oman, owning 60 percent market share in terms of number of subscribers and 72 percent in terms of total revenue in mobile segment by the end of 2007.

Omantel underwent partial privatization in 2005 when it was listed on the Muscat Securities Market. The Omani government currently retains a 70 percent stake.