Are you sure?

Kuwait's Securities says eyes KIA's stake in Zain

Kuwait's Securities Group Co said on Sunday that it was studying the possibility of buying part or all of the Kuwait Investment Authority's stake in telecoms firm.

Bader al-Saad, managing director of the KIA, the country's sovereign wealth fund, said last week the KIA might consider selling its 24.6% stake in Zain, though the fund is not party to talks between shareholders, the telecom firm and potential buyers.

“The Securities Group is undertaking the necessary studies or reviews to present an offer to buy a part or all of KIA's stake in Zain,” Securities Group said in a notice in local newspaper al-Rai on Sunday.

The firm did not say how much it will pay for the shares, only adding that it supports KIA's earlier statement that 2 dinars per share is a good price.

Separately, daily newspaper Awan said on Sunday citing sources in KIA, that the authority has received new offers to sell its stake in Zain, and is currently studying the offers.

“(KIA) does not mind selling a majority of its stake in Zain if it found the convenient selling opportunity and with a high price,” Awan said citing the KIA sources.

KIA was not immediately available for comment.

Last month, Kuwaiti conglomerate Kharafi Group said it had agreed to sell 46% of Zain to a consortium led by India's Vavasi Group and including telecoms firms Bharat Sanchar Nigam BSNL.UL and Mahanagar Telephone Nigam, and Malaysian billionaire Syed Mokhtar al-Bukhary.

KIA's Saad said the 2 dinars per share that Kharafi said the buying consortium had offered to pay was a “good price”.

In July, the KIA sold its 19.8% stake in Islamic lender Boubyan in an auction in which Securities Group and National Bank of Kuwait competed. (Reuters)