x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Etisalat seeks new chief financial officer

Now hiring: Etisalat needs a new chief financial officer after the previous holder of the position resigned. But investors hope the new hire brings new transparency to the telecoms giant.

The chief financial officer of Etisalat has stepped down. The UAE's largest telecommunications company made the disclosure yesterday without naming a successor.

In a statement to the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange, the telecoms giant said Salem al Sharhan had resigned for personal reasons.

"His last working day will be May 3, 2011," the company said in the statement. "The appointment of new [group chief financial officer] will be [announced] soon."

Investors said Etisalat was unlikely to make significant operational changes as a result of the change in the boardroom.

"The CFO is a very important function," said Mohammed Ali Yasin, the chief investment officer at CAPM Investment, "but he's not the leading figure in terms of what investors want."

The resignation comes after the collapse last month of Etisalat's attempts to gain a controlling stake in Zain, a telecoms company based in Kuwait.

Meanwhile, the acquisition of Zain Saudi Arabia by the Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal bin Abdulaziz Al Saud's Kingdom Holding is expected within two months of due diligence beginning, Bloomberg News reported.

"We started thorough studies of all Zain Saudi books and papers, which will take up to about a month, or a month and a half," Prince Alwaleed said. "If things go well, we expect the completion of purchasing Zain Saudi from Zain Kuwait in the two months that follow."

Kingdom Holding agreed with Bahrain Telecommunications Company this month to buy a 25 per cent stake in Zain Saudi Arabia.