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Saudi Zain Expects Decision on Capital Increase in June - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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KUWAIT CITY, (AP) — Saudi Arabia Zain telecom aims to finalise a decision in June on whether and how to raise its capital, its CEO and managing director Saad al-Barrak said on Tuesday.

“It is under study, under consideration… We hope to finalise it within a month,” Barrak told reporters in Kuwait when asked about a plan to hike the company’s capital.

“We don’t really have the final picture. We are discussing with the CMA (Saudi Capital Market Authority)… and hope that in June we should be able to reach a final conclusion,” Barrak said.

The company announced in February that its board of directors was considering options to strengthen the financial position of the loss-making firm and that hiking its capital was one of them.

The announcement came one month after the firm missed some commitments on a 2.6-billion-dollar Islamic loan although it was granted waivers by the banks.

The firm, more than 25 percent of which is owned by Kuwait’s largest mobile operator Zain, has incurred total net losses of 1.6 billion dollars between its start of operations in August 2008 and the end of March this year.

Kuwait’s Zain telecom and its partners paid 6.1 billion dollars in 2007 to win the third telecom licence in the kingdom.

Barrak however said that the company’s growth was “extremely good” and that it aims to reach 7.5 million customers by end-2010, up from just over six million clients at the end of last year.

It is the kingdom’s third mobile telephone company in size after Saudi Telecom and Mobily.

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat is the world’s premier pan-Arab daily newspaper, printed simultaneously each day on four continents in 14 cities. Launched in London in 1978, Asharq Al-Awsat has established itself as the decisive publication on pan-Arab and international affairs, offering its readers in-depth analysis and exclusive editorials, as well as the most comprehensive coverage of the entire Arab world.

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