close

policy

We would like to invite you to continue a survey you have started. ...

Do you trust your insurer ?

Strongly agree
Agree
Disagree
Strongly disagree
Insurance provides peace of mind
Insurance is purchased only when compulsory
Terms and Conditions (small print) are clear and easily accessible
Insurance jargon (language) stands in the way of fully understanding each policy
Insurance companies try their best to uphold the details of the policy without cutting corners
Reducing risk, cutting costs and profits are more important to an insurance company than the customer
Insurance companies in the region are as professional as in other more developed markets
Gender
Age group
Do you feel your insurance provider works in your interest?
Have you had a rejected claim that you feel was not justified?
Do you trust your insurance provider?
Our Network

Register for our free newsletter

 
 
Latest News

Gulf States buy stake in Virgin Mobile’s Middle East unit

Virgin's founder Richard Branson
0

March 12, 2013 4:43 by



Gulf Investment Corp (GIC) will invest $50 million in Virgin Mobile’s Middle East operation, a sign that the region may be ready to open up to more competition as the company looks to expand into new markets.

Richard Branson’s Virgin Group and GIC will be the joint largest shareholders in Virgin Mobile Middle East & Africa (VMMEA), which holds mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) licences in Oman, Jordanand South Africa.

GIC is wholly and equally owned by the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries - Saudi Arabia,Kuwait, Qatar, Oman, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates.

So far, however, only Saudi and Oman are open to MVNOs, which lease excess capacity from conventional telecoms operators, usually in return for a percentage of their revenue.

“We expect at least one new launch in 2013 and we have pretty interesting pipeline for 2014 as well,” VMMEA Chief Executive Mikkel Vinter said.

VMMEA is among the bidders for three MVNO licences up for grabs in Saudi Arabia. The kingdom has set a bid deadline of May 4 and will announce the winners 12 weeks later.

“We are putting a lot of resources behind it,” Vinter said. “Part of this new funding will be allocated to Saudi.”

Such virtual networks are widespread in Europe, but regulators in the Gulf have been reluctant to open their markets to increased competition because most of the 15 mobile operators are ultimately government-controlled and are often a key source of state revenue.

“Timing can be debated and there are country-specific considerations, but a few years down the road we expect all GCC markets to have MVNOs and for it to spread further out into the Middle East and Africa,” Vinter said.

VMMEA was created in June 2012 when Virgin Group and Friendi Group combined their regional businesses. It has a little more than a million customers, but Vinter says that it aims to raise this to 10 million within five years.

The company operates under the Friendi brand in Oman and Jordan, while Virgin Mobile is used in South Africa.

Though GIC and Virgin will hold an equal share in the company, Vinter declined to reveal the size of their stakes.



0

Leave a Comment