Oman Broadband goes public in 2023 

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هذه الصفحة متوفرة بهذه اللغة: العربية

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7 November 2020

MUSCAT (WAF): State-owned Oman ICT Group will offer a minority stake in its subsidiary, Oman Broadband Company (OBC), for a subscription in 2023, the Group CEO told WAF News.

Eng. Said al-Mandhari, CEO of OICT Group, said that the company, which started its operations in 2014, managed to achieve net profits by the end of last year. He added that OBC’s Initial Public Offering (IPO) and then listing at Muscat Securities Market (MSM) is scheduled for 2023. “The Group will retain the majority share,” al-Mandhari told WAF.

In 2020 OBC commences the second phase of the national broadband plan. The phase mainly aims to extend fibre-optic networks in areas that are not economically viable outside the governorate of Muscat.

According to the Group CEO, the second phase “requires investments estimated at 30 million Omani Rials ($78 million)… of which, the Group will inject 15 One million Omani Rials ($39 million)”. The remaining amount will be secured through a loan that the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) has shown interest in.

According to al-Mandhari after the previous loan obtained by OBC from AIIB in 2018 amounting to 92 million Omani Rials ($239.2 million), AIIB expressed its interest in contributing to financing the second phase of the broadband plan and buying a stake in OBC.

Unlike the first phase of OBC’s plan, which was mainly based on government investments to acquire or build fibre-optic networks, al-Mandhari stated that “a large portion of the second phase is based on the principle of a partnership (PPP)”, whereby Oman Broadband is studying getting into revenue sharing agreements with private contractors to build the networks on behalf of the government and lease the infrastructure to the sector’s operators.

It is noteworthy that the Oman Broadband Company owns assets worth 120 million Omani Rials ($312 million), in addition to managing the fibre-optic assets owned by electricity companies as part of revenue sharing agreements.