Zain telecoms to cut jobs in Kuwait and Bahrain

Latest: Job cuts will affect up to 40 people in telecoms operator's group offices in Kuwait and Bahrain.

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The telecoms operator Zain plans to cut up to 40 staff from its group operations in Kuwait and Bahrain.

Chief executive Nabil Bin Salama told reporters today that 40 per cent of the group's staff base will be cut.

A spokesman for the company confirmed this, saying that the total number of redundancies would be between 30 and 40 people.

The spokesman told The National that the move would only apply to the parent group, and not to its subsidiaries.

"My strategy is to restructure and decrease the number in the Group as much as possible in order to receive the preferred benefits," chief executive Nabil Bin Salama told reporters, according to Reuters.

Shares in Zain slumped by 7.3 per cent today following news that the Kuwaiti telecoms company has rejected all three offers for its interests in Saudi Arabia.

It emerged on Saturday that Zain rejected offers for its 25 per cent stake in Zain Saudi Arabia made by Kingdom Holding, Bahrain Telecommunications and a consortium led by Al Riyadh Group.

The rejection of the offers could scupper Etisalat's proposed acquisition of a 46 per cent controlling stake in Zain, of which the sale of the Saudi unit was a precondition.

Shares in Zain fell by the most in three weeks on the back of the news.

Three key executives from Zain Group resigned yesterday, and the group expects four more senior officials to leave the company, Bloomberg reported.

Zain has received commitments from banks for a $1.2 billion loan, Bloomberg reported. Seven banks are arranging the loan and the transaction will be completed by mid or end of March, according to reports.