Saudi Mobily’s market share stood at 39% in ’07


Saudi Arabia's Etihad Etisalat (Mobily) said its market share rose to 39 per cent with 11.1 million mobile telephone users at the end of 2007.

Humoud al-Ghobaini, Mobily's spokesman, said the company's chief executive announced the figure at a shareholders meeting late on Sunday.

"Khaled al-Kaf told the assembly that we have reached 11.1 million clients by the end of 2007 after less than three years in business", he said.

"This gives us around 39 per cent market share based on data from our competitor."

Mobily was close to closing a deal to buy a local Internet service provider, Chairman Abdulaziz Al Sughayir told the meeting, according to Ghobaini.

This would be Mobily's second acquisition in six months after it paid $400 million to buy data provider Bayanat Al Oula, as it seeks to expand its data and broadband services.

Mobily will apply this week to the bourse regulator, the Capital Market Authority, to approve an issue of 200 million shares at 10 riyals ($2.67) each to raise its capital by 40 percent to 7 billion riyals, Ghobaini said.

"The capital hike, according to the chairman, will be completed within a month and a half," he said, adding that founding shareholders would be taking 60 per cent of the new shares.

Mobily, one of two mobile telephone service providers operating in the country of about 25 million people, started operations in mid-2005.

Its 2007 profit almost doubled to 1.38 billion riyals, from 700 million riyals in 2006, as sales grew 44.3 per cent.

Mobily and its rival Saudi Telecom Co will face competition this year when a consortium led by Kuwait's Mobile

Telecommunications Co (Zain) starts operating a third mobile network in the kingdom. (Reuters)