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Bahrain ‘to be innovative telecom hub’

Bahrain’s open economy policy coupled with a strategy to develop the telecom sector has paved the way for it to be positioned as an innovative telecom hub, said a senior minister.

Minister of State for Telecommunications Affairs Shaikh Fawaz bin Mohammed Al Khalifa’s comments came as he received in his office Zain Bahrain general manager Mohammed Zainalabedin to discuss the latest developments in the company’s initial public offering (IPO), reported the Gulf Daily News, our sister publication.

A key development highlighted during the meeting was that Zain Bahrain filed for conversion from a closed joint-stock to a public joint-stock company through the Industry and Commerce Ministry.

Shaikh Fawaz said Zain Bahrain’s stock market listing is a positive development and will boost the kingdom’s economic positioning both regionally and internationally.

The minister also added that the IPO will generate economic growth for the telecommunications sector and provide attractive investment opportunities for the market.

They also discussed the recent appointments and plans made by the operator to facilitate and co-ordinate a smooth process with Zain Bahrain appointing BBK as the lead receiving bank.

The telecoms company has also appointed Ericsson as a technology partner to ensure the roll-out of necessary systems and software.

Other appointments included the Gulf International Bank and National Bank of Kuwait Capital as IPO joint lead managers. The company has also initiated an official engagement with Bahrain Bourse.

Zain Bahrain launched its $100 million new state-of-the-art network in the kingdom towards the end of the first quarter of this year, further strengthening the operator’s role in the development of the telecommunications sector in Bahrain.

Their strategic partnership with Vodafone enhances both Zain and Vodafone’s ability to meet growing consumer and multinational businesses’ demand for sophisticated voice and data communications solutions, as well as advanced roaming services within and beyond the Middle East.

Zain Bahrain’s shareholder structure consists of a majority percentage held by Zain Group at 56.75 per cent, Vodafone holding 6.25 per cent and 37 per cent held by Bahraini investors.

Since its liberalisation back in 2003, the telecommunications sector in Bahrain is one of the most important and vital pillars driving and supporting the national economy.


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