Eight in fray for Oman telecom firm stake

August 18th, 2008 - 8:08 pm ICT by IANS  

Dubai, Aug 18 (IANS) Eight telecom operators from Asia, Europe and the Middle East have been selected from the pre-qualification process for the sale of a 25 percent stake of Oman’s leading telecommunication services provider Omantel.Oman’s Ministry of Finance announced Monday that its advisors were satisfied with the outcome of the pre-qualification process “which has evoked serious and strong interest from highly credible and reputed international and regional, telecom operators”.

“The quality and number of expressions of interest received were very strong,” Darwish Ismail Al Bulushi, secretary general in the Ministry of Finance and chairman of the steering committee overseeing the Omantel strategic partnership process, said in a statement issued from Muscat.

“The level of interest is testament to the quality of the Omani macroeconomic scene, the opportunity in the Omani telecoms market and of Omantel itself,” he said, adding that the selected parties were being contacted.

“We now look forward to receiving the parties’ first round proposals in the second half of September,” Al Bulushi said.

The eight selected reportedly include Saudi Telecom, Qatar Telecommunications Company and Emirates Telecommunications Corporation.

Omantel is Oman’s first telecommunications company and the Oman government holds 70 percent stake in it.

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