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Amman – Mr. Sabeih Al Masri the board chairman of the Palestinian Telecommunication Group PALTEL, expected to ratify the partnership with Kuwaiti ZAIN during 10 days. The partnership completion needs t the ratification of the Palestinian Authority prior to approval, after the completion of a set of procedures governing the legal relationship between the operator and the Palestinian Authority.
Al Masri said that" the path of the deal is positive, particularly the group had received preliminary approval by the Palestinian Authority earlier", but he added that "the partnership still needs completing the legal proceedings and transactions between the company and the authority up to the final endorsement".
Negotiations on the partnership between the two parties had been announced at the end of the first month of the current year.
Al Masri assured that the general framework of this partnership includes the entry of the Kuwaiti Group as a strategic partner by a stack that exceeds 50% of the shares of the Palestinian company.
The Palestinian law provides that the entry of a strategic partner in the local telecommunications sector by more than 30% requires the approval of the Authority.
Reuters news agency quoted recently by the Minister of Economy and Telecommunications in the Palestinian government, Kamal Hassouneh saying "There is no problem on the entrance of ZAIN ... there are some requirements from the company (Palestinian telecommunications) for data connection and conventions of some fees ... There are agreed grounds in accordance of the law and instructions of the Ministry".
Hassouneh who heads the government-appointed commission to study the terms of the deal refused the allegations of the PNA"s delay in responding to this deal and said "There are negotiations ... there is no delay from the side of the Ministry and we are ready at any time to complete the issue, we encourage investment and foreign investment .. There is no any problem".
The Palestinian Telecommunication Group PALTEL postponed its emergency meeting which was scheduled last Saturday to discuss the merger between the group and ZAIN, awaiting a response of the Palestinian Authority for a final decision on the deal.
The Palestinian group expected to obtain the consent of the Palestinian Authority in the beginning of March this year, but cancelled the date set for an irregular meeting of the group in light of the failure of the Palestinian National Authority to take a decision regarding the deal.
Observers believe that this partnership between ZAIN Jordan and PALTEL in the event of final approval is of great importance particularly in light of the convergence between the Jordanian and Palestinian markets, as well as the strength of ZAIN Group which is now operating in 22 markets including the Jordanian market.
The press statements issued by ZAIN which were published last month confirmed that the company is implementing conversations that are in advanced stages with the Palestinian Telecommunications Company PALTEL in the hope to gain the majority stake. In these statements the group announced that the partnership to be held with PALTEL will further its efforts to expand the spread of a compiler telecommunications Middle Eastern community, under the umbrella of one network that does not recognize geographical borders.
Palatine Telecommunications Group owns unites for the operation of fixed and mobile services and Internet in the Palestinian territories, where the arm which provides cellular services (JAWWAL) includes around 1.3 million subscribers.
ZAIN is currently the fourth largest telecommunications company in the world in terms of geographical coverage, as it covers about 15 million square kilometers, a population of more than 600 million people, where is currently operating in 22 countries, including seven Arab countries (Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon , Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Bahrain) and the remaining are African countries.
ZAIN which was bearing the name of Mobile Telecommunications Co. (mtc) had been established in 1983 in Kuwait, its beginning expansion outside the borders of Kuwait was in 2003, when it rose at that time their share in the Jordan ZAIN / former Fast link from 4.9% to 96.5% in a deal that worth 423.9 million dollars.