Foreign firms lining up for Kuwait mobile carrier

Eleven foreign firms want to take part in Kuwait's auction to sell 26 % of a mobile telephone operator set up by the government, the official state news agency KUNA, quoted by a Reuters report, said.

'The number of companies that have expressed an interest in taking part in the auction for 26 % of the firm is 25 "&brkbar; Fourteen of these firms are Kuwaiti firms listed on the Kuwait Stock Exchange, while the remaining 11 are considered foreign firms,' KUNA was quoted as saying, without naming the firms. The auction will be held on September 7, it said.

The Reuters report said it was not immediately clear whether the foreign firms will be allowed to take part in the auction.

Though the government said earlier this year it was planning to open the auction to foreign operators, Kuwait's al-Seyassah newspaper said earlier this week that the Gulf Arab state had decided to exclude foreign companies.

Abu Dhabi-based Emirates Telecommunications is among the foreign operators that have said they would consider a bid in Kuwait, the Reuters report said.