Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund appointed two banks to investigate the sale of some of its majority shareholding in Saudi Telecom Company (STC), Reuters reported.

Unnamed sources told the publication Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) is assessing the divestment of some of its huge stake in the operator as part of a wider strategy of cashing-in on mature assets in favour of investing in new ones.

The Saudi Arabia stock exchange puts its ownership of the operator at 70 per cent, with Reuters estimating the value of its complete stake at $50 billion. The amount it plans to offload was not disclosed, though one of the news publication’s sources described it as “substantial”.

GSMA Intelligence figures put STC as the largest operator in the market by connections at end-Q1 with 17.8 million, followed by Etisalat brand Mobily (15 million) and Zain (7.2 million).

In addition to commercial fixed, TV and mobile services, the company provides various wholesale and enterprise ICT products across a number of markets.