Text size:

  • Small
  • Normal
  • Large

Oman ends Omantel sale

Oman has cancelled the sale of a stake in its national telecommunications company, Omantel.

Oman has cancelled the sale of a stake in its national telecommunications company, Omantel, blaming "unprecedented market volatility" for scuppering the deal. The sale, announced in July, was originally set to earn at least US$1.5 billion (Dh5.5bn) for the Omani government, based on Omantel's valuation at the time. But its share price has since dropped by almost a third, and potential investors have become bargain hunters.

"Despite the solid progress we have made with the sale process to date, and the continued strong interest shown by the bidders," said Darwish Ismail al Balushi, the secretary general of the ministry of finance, "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." Etisalat, among others, expressed interest in the sale. Omantel was seeking a strategic partner that would be involved in the day-to-day management and possible rebranding of the company, and set strict criteria that limited bidders to top-tier regional and global operators.

Eight companies from Europe, the Middle East and Asia were shortlisted after the initial application process, with a final decision due to be made in early 2008. The Omani government has taken a number of steps in liberalising its telecommunications system in recent years. The Omantel monopoly was broken in 2005 by Nawras, a new entrant part-owned by Qatar's Qtel. Five new mobile licenses were issued this year for new "virtual" operators, which will run their services using the physical networks of Omantel and Nawras. The Dubai-based Friendi will be one of the new operators.


Back to the top

More articles

Editor's Picks

 The Greens, villas: Q1 no change. 3BR - Dh210-250,000. 4BR - Dh210-260,000. 5BR - Dh220-300,000. Q1 2013-Q1 2014 5% rise. Pawan Singh / The National

In pictures: Where Dubai rents have risen and fallen, Q1 2014

Find out how rental prices in the prime locations in Dubai have altered during the first three months of the year and the current rates you will pay according to data provided by Asteco.

 Above, the private pool of Ocean Heights' five-bedroom penthouse flat. Courtesy Christie’s International Real Estate

In pictures: Penthouse flat is height of Dubai luxury living

A five-bedroom penthouse in Ocean Heights in Dubai Marina is on sale for Dh25 million and comes with a private pool and an unparalleled view of Dubai.

 The cooling towers of the Temelin nuclear power plant near the Tyn nad Vltavou in Czech Republic. The country wants to continue expanding nuclear energy capacity despite cancelling a tender to build two new units. David W Cerny / Reuters

In pictures: Best business images for the week to April 17, 2014

Here are some of the best business images for the week to April 17, 2014.

 Three generations of the Hakimi family tend to their stall Crawford Market in Mumbai. Subhash Sharma for The National

In pictures: Shopper’s delight at Crawford Market in Mumbai

Crawford Market is an old British-style covered market dealing in just about every kind of fresh food and domestic animal imaginable. Later on renamed Mahatma Jotirao Phule, the market remains popular among locals and visitors by its old name, taken from Arthur Crawford who was the first municipal commissioner of the city.

 The Wind, Energy, Technology and Environment Exhibition takes place from April 14 to April 16. Above, the Dewa showroom during last year’s Wetex. Jaime Puebla / The National

April corporate and economic calendar for the UAE and overseas

From Cityscape to Wetex to stock-market holidays to nations reporting first-quarter GDP figures, here is our helpful calendar of April's business events in the UAE and internationally.

 Get the latest information on credit cards, bank accounts and loan products in the UAE. Mark Lennihan / AP Photo

Rates report: Latest on UAE loans, accounts and credit cards

Souqamal.com brings you the latest interest rates on banking products in the UAE.


To add your event to The National listings, click here

Get the most from The National