The government of Oman will offload 27% of its shares in Oman Telecommunications Company (Omantel) – equivalent to a 19% stake – in two phases, according to Saud bin Nasser Al Shukaili, chairman of the supervisory committee overseeing the process, as reported by Muscat Daily. The first phase will be a private placement open to Omani individual and institutional investors of more than OMR2 million (USD5.2 million) based on a book-building approach, which is expected to be completed in March, following which the second phase – an initial public offering (IPO) for local citizens – will be launched. ‘Considering the current transaction timetable and readiness, the favourable liquidity in the economy, and investor interest in Omantel, the government believes that the current phase of the Omantel privatisation should be completed over the next eight to ten weeks,’ Al Shukaili confirmed. Bank Muscat is advising the government on the Omantel disinvestment programme, which will see the state’s overall ownership in the telco reduced from 70% to 51%; 30% of the company is already publicly owned.
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