UAE Etisalat confirms bid to buy 46% of Kuwait’s Zain

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UAE telecom giant Etisalat said Thursday it has offered to buy 46 percent of Kuwait’s largest mobile operator Zain and the company’s leading private investor welcomed the move.

“Etisalat has submitted a preliminary conditional offer to buy a 46-percent stake of Zain for an amount of 1.7 dinars (5.97 dollars) per share,” the company said in a statement posted on Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange.

This is the first official confirmation of the size and price of the stake which is estimated to be worth 10.5 billion dollars based on the available outstanding shares of Zain.

“We would like to emphasise that no final agreement has been reached at this point in time as this offer depends on the fulfillment of specific requirements and conditions,” the Etisalat statement said.

The largest private investor in Zain welcomed the offered price saying it is suitable for the two parties.

“We are pleased with offered price because it is good and suitable for both sides,” Nasser al-Khorafi, chairman of the Khorafi Group, was quoted as saying by Kuwait’s Al-Qabas newspaper.

The Khorafi Group has a direct ownership of 12.7 percent of Zain but its share is believed to be more than 20 percent if indirect stakes are taken into account.

The 46 percent is a controlling stake in Zain since 10 percent of its equity are in treasury shares which do not have voting power.

Stocks of Zain, the largest capitalised listed firm on the Kuwait Stock Exchange with 20 billion dollars, were suspended on Thursday pending the availability of details on the sale.

In March, Zain sold its operations in 15 African nations to India’s Bharti Airtel for 10.7 billion dollars, netting a profit of more than three billion dollars from the deal.

Besides Kuwait, Zain operates in Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Jordan, Iraq, Lebanon, Sudan and Morocco.

The Kuwaiti government holds a 24.6 percent stake in the firm, which currently has more than 30 million clients.

Before striking the deal with Bharti, Zain held unsuccessful negotiations with an Indo-Malaysian consortium to sell 46 percent of the company for about 14 billion dollars.

Landrush phase of Arabic domains under السعودية. starts

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The Saudi Arabian Communication and Information Technology Commission (CITC) announced that the Landrush phase of Arabic domain names registration under السعودية. has officially began.

The Landrush phase commenced at 10:00 on Monday 18th Shawwal 1431 H (27 September 2010 for the rest of us).

During this phase, the registration will be opened for any entity or individual on a first come, first served basis according to the terms and conditions guiding the registration process as well as other SaudiNICs regulations and procedures. Applying for this phase is only accepted electronically through SaudiNIC website.

For more information, go to the SaudiNIC website at saudinic.net.sa/page.php?page=9

YallaWain: A New Kuwaiti Social Dining Out Service

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YallaWain is a new social networking service that was launched in Kuwait, and that revolves around the experience of dining out; helping people pick what places to go to and what to have.

The service describes itself as a new way for people to mix and tip-off each other about the finest restaurants and top dishes in Kuwait; which sums it up quite nicely.

Basically, the site is built around user reviews and ratings of the different restaurants and eateries in the country, their ratings of the different dishes those places serve on their menus, and tips they leave for other fellow diners.

The service also integrates a social aspect that enables users to follow their friends and contacts on the service, in order to get a more personal touch and receive their different tips and reviews, as well as what restaurants are their favorite ones.

The site is entirely based on users generating the content through their contributions, building up a database of reviews and recommendations, both for restaurants and the different dishes they serve as well.

YallaWain opts for a simple, light and really nice design; that is easy to navigate around, enabling users to find places to eat and dishes through choosing location, type of food or the country the food is from. They can also use the search engine to search directly for a restaurant or dish they have in mind.

The service was launched in beta just a few days ago on an invite only basis, and already features more than 450 dishes and 70 restaurants in Kuwait. The site is available in English only for the time being.

YallaWain was founded by Hamad Aljudai in 2010, and took around six months to build before this launch.

Drink a Glass of Milk to Neutralize Garlic Breath

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Scientists looking deep into garlic odor recently came to the conclusion that it’s water and fat that reduce garlic breath, so milk is the perfect delivery vehicle. Consider milk, or a non-skim latte, or even ice cream, as a post-pasta breath fixer.