Saudi Telecom yet to decide share floating
RIYADH, 20 November — Khaled Al-Milhem, president
of the Saudi Telecom Company, has denied press reports that STC is planning to
float part of its shares for public subscription by the beginning of next year.
“The issue of selling part of the company’s shares to citizens is still under
consideration,” the STC chief told Arab News.
Press reports have suggested that STC is planning a domestic initial public
offering (IPO) early next year that will probably involve around 10 percent of
its issued shares.
The Kingdom set up STC in 1998 to prepare for privatization, transferring
assets held by the Ministry of Posts, Telegraphs and Telephones. It is expected
to raise revenue of SR20 billion this year, up from SR17 billion last year and
SR14.5 billion in 1999.
Milhem said the company had accommodated nearly 5,400 employees, who were
previously under the PTT Ministry, providing them with suitable jobs in
accordance with their qualifications.
He said the STC would continue to revise tariffs for its various services.
“Our strategy is to make our tariffs competitive at the regional and
international level. We review our tariffs regularly and reduce them in tune
with our expansion projects,” he stated.
The company has now embarked on a new project to link major business firms,
industries and establishments in various parts of the country using optical
“The project will link about 350 sites at a cost of SR250 million,” he said,
adding that 180 sites have already been linked.
The project offers vast space for users to receive various services including
the Internet and high-speed information circuits. Subscribers of STC’s DSL
service are expected to reach 10,000 by the end of next year.
Milhem added that STC has the ability to meet the requirements of the school
computer project (Watani), initiated by Crown Prince Abdullah, deputy premier
and commander of the National Guard. The project aims to link Saudi schools and
educational centers with a computer system.
Source: Arab News