Saudi Telecom Headed for Eight-Month High on Axis Stake Sale
Stock Chart for Saudi Telecom Co (STC)
Saudi Telecom Co. (STC) headed for the highest close in more than eight months after the Persian Gulf’s second-biggest phone company agreed to sell its stake in PT Axis Telekom Indonesia.
The Riyadh-based operator gained 2.4 percent to 43.3 riyals at 12:51 p.m. in Riyadh, boosting its market capitalization to 86 billion riyals ($23 billion). That’s the highest level on a closing basis since Jan. 20. More than four million shares were traded, almost five times the three-month average. The stock was the most-traded by value on the benchmark Tadawul All Share Index (SASEIDX), which slipped 0.2 percent.
PT XL Axiata Tbk. (EXCL), a unit of Malaysia’s largest mobile-phone operator, will acquire Axis from Saudi Telecom and settle $865 million of the closely held carrier’s debts, according to a stock exchange filing in Kuala Lumpur today. XL Axiata, a 66.5 percent-owned subsidiary of Axiata Group Bhd. (AXIATA), is paying $100 cash for the share capital of Axis.
The transaction requires regulatory approval from Indonesia, in addition to approval from XL shareholders, Saudi Telecom said in a statement to the nation’s stock exchange. Nine analysts have a buy rating on the phone company, while seven recommend investors hold the shares, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
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