KUWAIT: Trading in the shares of Kuwaiti telecoms firm Zain will remain halted until it completes all the preparations for closing a deal to sell African assets, a newspaper reported on Monday.
"The bourse has responded to Zain’s request for the trading halt…which is expected to be lifted within the next few days after the clarification of requested information," Ahmad Al-Haroun, the minister of trade and industry and the head of the Kuwaiti bourse was quoted as saying by local daily Al-Qabas.
In March, Zain struck a deal selling its operations in 15 African countries to India’s Bharti Airtel but questions about what Zain would do with the windfall — either invest or pay out to shareholders — have persisted ever since.
In another report, local daily Al-Rai said on Monday the bourse had requested that Zain provide details about how the deal with Bharti would reflect on the firm’s balance sheet.
Zain’s shares were halted since May 30 pending the distribution of its 2009 cash dividend after its shareholders approved a cash dividend of 170 fils per share, which excludes distribution from the sale of some of Zain’s African units to Bharti.
There are 1,000 fils to the dinar.