Omantel Drops Most Since March on Stake Sale Plan: Muscat Mover

Oman Telecommunications Co. fell the most in five months after the Persian Gulf nation’s government, the majority owner in the phone operator, said it plans to sell a 19 percent stake.

The shares of Oman’s largest telcommunications company declined 4.3 percent, the most since March 31, to 1.531 rials at the close in Muscat. That trimmed this year’s gain to 4.1 percent and compares with an advance of 14 percent for the country’s benchmark index.

The government, which owns 70 percent of Omantel, is seeking to sell the stake through public subscription to Omani individuals and institutions, the company said in a statement to the Muscat stock exchange today. The Capital Market Authority will determine the terms and conditions for the subscription and the share price, it said. The stake was valued at 228 million rials ($592 million) at yesterday’s close, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

“It’s the anticipated pressure due to additional supply,” said Idris Kathiwalla, senior research analyst at Oman Arab Bank SAOG. “Once the stock price corrects and stabilizes, you’ll see some buyers coming in, mainly institutions, because it is high dividend stock.”

The shares have a 12-month dividend yield of 7.5 percent, compared with a current dividend yield of 3.9 percent for the MSM 30 Index, data compiled by Bloomberg.

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