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Zain raises $4.49b for expansion

NAIROBI, September 24 – Mobile phone operator, Zain Group has raised US$4.49 billion through a capital increase with 99 percent of all shareholders subscribing.

The funds raised will be used to fund further acquisitions.

The amount raised is unprecedented in Kuwaiti’s history exceeding all expectations, given the gloomy trends that have recently dominated local and international markets and resulted in sharp declines in the prices of oil as well as significant collapses in the financial markets worldwide.

"The successful completion of the largest capital increase in the history of Kuwait is an unanimous vote of confidence by our shareholders in Zain\’s management team, the performance to date and in our profitable expansion strategy aiming to be a top-ten global mobile operator by 2011," said Zain’s Chief Executive Officer Dr Saad Al Barrak.

“The proceeds of this capital increase will be used to finance future strategic expansion plans and meet financial commitments.”

Zain has made unprecedented leaps in the global mobile telecommunications sector over the past five years to be now present in 22 countries on two continents serving over 50 million active customers.

Every Zain shareholder of record on March 10, the date the company held its ordinary and extraordinary General Assembly Meeting was eligible to subscribe to a number of capital increase shares equal to 75 percent of the total number of shares they held on this date.

The capital increase subscription price was 850 fils (approximately US$3.20) per share representing a par value of 100 fils per share plus a premium of 750 fils. The subscription period commenced August 17 and closed on September 18.

“All the Group\’s financial indicators are now geared up to witness exponential growth on the back of Zain\’s huge investments in expansion projects in many of the Middle East and African markets in which we operate. We expect these investments to bring about substantial increases in the Group\’s future revenues and net profits” commented Dr Al Barrak.

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The Zain brand is wholly owned by Mobile Telecommunications Company KSC, which is listed on the Kuwait Stock Exchange. The company had a market capitalisation of over US$27.5 billion on June 30.

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