Qatar Telecom pursues rest of Kuwait's Wataniya

Associated Press + More

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Qatar Telecom says it is seeking approval to buy the remaining stake of Kuwaiti telecom operator Wataniya that it does not already own.

The Qatari company said Tuesday it has submitted its request to Kuwaiti regulators, who have halted trading in Wataniya shares while they review the bid.

Qatar Telecom already owns a 52.5 percent stake in Wataniya, known officially as the National Mobile Telecommunications Company. The remainder of Wataniya's ownership is split between individual shareholders and the government's Kuwait Investment Authority sovereign wealth fund.

Based on Wataniya's current market value, the stake would be worth about $1.9 billion. Qatar Telecom is majority-owned by the Qatari government. It counts more than 84 million customers in the Middle East, North Africa and Asia.

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