The United Arab Emirates plans to lift a ban on foreigners owning shares in Etisalat, without saying when the change will happen.
“The federal government has decided to lift the restriction on Etisalat stock ownership by local institutions, foreign institutions, and expatriate individuals provided that such ownership does not exceed 20 per cent,” the company said in a statement. The UAE’s federal government holds a 60-per-cent stake in the operator.
The move, however, is subject to “additional legal and legislative procedures”.
The UAE government does not intend to reduce its stake for the time being, which it owns through the Emirates Investment Authority. Currently, the remaining 40 per cent is owned by UAE citizens.
The move may boost Abu Dhabi’s stock market and Etisalat’s share price, according to a Reuters report.
Etisalat announced strong results for the first quarter of 2015, which it said “allows us to move forward in confidence as the leading operator in emerging markets, delivering advancements in each of the countries we operate in.”
As with previous periods, the company benefited from its acquisition of Maroc Telecom last year.