Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) detailed plans to sell a 5 per cent stake in operator STC, progressing a strategy announced earlier this year to cut its share while maintaining a controlling interest in the company.

The fund will offer more than 100 million shares to institutional and retail investors in Saudi Arabia and overseas. The sale could raise SAR11.6 billion ($3.1 billion), if the final price is at the top end of the SAR100 to SAR116 per share range detailed in its stock market prospectus.

PIF estimates the offer will close on 14 December, with the company set to confirm the final price per share on 10 December.

The investment fund currently owns a 70 per cent stake in STC and had been rumoured to be mulling cashing in part of the asset prior to confirming preparations for a sale had begun in October.

As part of the terms of the float, PIF is locked in to retaining its remaining equity in STC for a year.

STC CEO Olayan Alwetaid welcomed the increase of its shares being available publicly, adding a broader range of investors would “help realise our vision to be the leading digital services provider in the region and lead the growth of a diverse and digital economy in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia”.