The Jordanian government has approved the disposal of its 41.5% stake in Jordan Telecom to Arab investors and France Telecom, in a deal worth over JOD515 million (USD727 million). FT, which already has a 40% interest in the fixed-line operator, will increase its holding by 11% to give it a controlling interest. Bahrain-based Gulf Finance House and Kuwaiti investment company Nour will each buy 10% stakes, while 5% will be placed with the government’s pension fund and 3% will be set aside for army and security agency staff and retirees, under a discounted share scheme designed to spread the benefits of privatisation to pro-government loyalists. The remaining 2.5% will be offered to local shareholders on the Amman bourse, where the company has the third-largest market capitalisation at over JOD1.1 billion. FT will pay JOD5.5 per share, while Arab investors will pay JOD5 per share. The government has said it will use funds from the sale to reduce external debt.
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