Etisalat remains committed to Mobily despite regulator ban

Etisalat remains committed to its Saudi Arabian affiliate Mobily after the company came under fire following the regulator’s decision to ban it from selling pre-paid SIM cards.

Etisalat told Reuters that it was also in the market to increase its stake in Mobily if possible and reiterated its intentions to invest further in Saudi Arabia.

The kingdom’s regulator suspended Mobily’s sales of new pre paid SIM cards and will not lift the ban until the company meets certain provisions, which links to a SIM registration rule issued in September.

Chief Executive Ahmad Julfar told Reuters: “Etisalat has always maintained its keenness to strengthen its investment in Saudi Arabia through Mobily as it views the Saudi market as a very important and key market in its portfolio.

Etisalat owns a 28% stake in Mobily, and has previously confirmed its intentions to up its stake in the company.

The UAE-based operator now operates in 15 countries across the Middle East, Asia and Africa, and Mobily remains key to growth following a tripling of annual revenue from 2007 to 2011.

Mobily said the ban would not have an adverse effect on earnings.

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