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Zain Shares Jump to Highest in 6 Months After Etisalat Offer

Zain shares jumped to the highest in six months after Emirates Telecommunications Corp. offered to buy 46 percent of Kuwait’s largest mobile-phone company.

The shares rose 2.9 percent to 1,400 fils, the highest intraday level since April 5, at 10:43 a.m. in Kuwait City. The shares were halted from trading on Sept. 30.

Etisalat, as Emirates Telecommunications is known, said on Sept. 30 it offered 1.7 Kuwaiti dinars ($5.98) to buy the stake in Zain. The deal would give Etisalat majority control of Zain and extend its reach in the Middle East, where Zain operates in countries from Kuwait and Iraq to Bahrain after selling most of its African assets this year to Indian billionaire Sunil Mittal’s Bharti Airtel Ltd. for $9 billion.

Kuwait’s Kharafi Group is inviting small shareholders in Mobile Telecommunications Co., known as Zain, to join in the stake sale, according to an advertisement in Al-Qabas today. The advertisement by National Investments Co., which is controlled by the Kharafi Group, addresses shareholders who own no more than 300,000 Zain shares.

The Kharafi Group is the second-largest shareholder in Zain, with about 13 percent. Kuwait Investment Authority, the country’s sovereign wealth fund, is Zain’s largest shareholder with 24.6 percent.

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