Oman will sell 19% of its former telecommunications monopoly Omantel in two phases, with the first reserved for wealthy local investors and due to finish in March and the second open to all Omanis, Omani media reported.
The government, which now owns 70% of Omantel, in September announced plans to reduce its holding to 51% through a public share sale, a month later appointing Bank Muscat as adviser.
Since then, there has been no further official announcement, but some Muscat newspapers this week quoted Saud bin Nasser al-Shukaily, secretary-general for taxation at the Ministry of Finance, as saying a first phase of the sale would consist of a private placement for investors buying more than 2mn rials ($5.2mn) worth of shares.
This will be open to major local individual investors and to institutional investors, and is expected to be completed in March, al-Shukaily said. A book-building process will determine the price.
The second phase would be open to all Omanis. The government would sell 142.5mn Omantel shares in total.
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