Etisalat says no to foreign shareholder votes

UAE operator Etisalat will not grant voting rights to foreign investors when it opens up its shares to non-UAE buyers, the company said in a statement.

Traditionally, shares in government-run Etisalat can only be owned by UAE nationals, but in June this year the operator announced plans to relax these rules and allow foreign investors to buy shares.

According to the company, foreign investors will be allowed to own up to 20% of Etisalat shares, but will not be granted any voting rights.

Shrouk Diab, assistant VP at NBK Capital in Dubai, told Reuters that he does not expect this to deter foreign backers.

“Even if they were allowed to vote, the government owns a majority stake and so will be in charge,” he said.

“Etisalat’s stable dividend policy is attractive to investors and the company is also a play on the UAE economy.”

Etisalat operates in 19 countries across the Middle East, Africa and Asia, with the UAE accounting for 57% of its Q2 revenue.


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