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Zain Saudi Arabia telcos Q4 loss narrows
Zain Saudi Arabia said on Wednesday its fourth-quarter net loss narrowed to 461 million riyals ($122.9 million) from 521 million riyals a year earlier, beating an analyst's forecast.
January 19, 2012 2:33 by Reuters
The telecoms operator said the 11 percent decline in its losses was due to lower international network call charges and lower maintenance costs, in a statement it posted on the Saudi bourse website.
The company, an affiliate of Kuwait’s Zain, had been forecast by one analyst polled by Reuters to post a quarterly loss of 517 million riyals.
The latest results take Zain Saudi’s accumulated losses to about 9.6 billion riyals.
This now amounts to around two-thirds of the company’s 14 billion riyals of share capital. Bourse rules say listed firms must reduce their capital if losses exceed 75 percent.
In October, Zain Saudi said it would ask shareholders to approve cutting its capital by 66 percent to these alleviate losses, while that month it also appointed Khalid Al-Omar as chief executive to replace Saad al-Barrak, who was also formerly the CEO of Zain group.
The firm’s liabilities top $5.5 billion, according to its first-quarter results, and it has yet to make a quarterly profit.
Zain Saudi’s full-year revenue was 6.7 billion riyals, a 13 percent jump from 5.9 billion riyals a year earlier.
In September, Bahrain Telecommunications Co and Kingdom Holding withdrew their joint $950 million bid for Zain’s 25 percent stake in Zain Saudi, partly over disagreement on loan guarantees. ($1 = 3.7502 Saudi riyals) (Reporting by Angus McDowall; Editing by Firouz Sedarat)