Zain targets $30 billion capitalisation by 2011

JEDDAH — The MTC Group (Mobile Telecommunication Company of Kuwait), which was awarded the third mobile telecommunications licence in July this year, and is expected to enter the market in 2008, has been rebranded as Zain, which becomes the Group's corporate master brand.

By Habib Shaikh

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Published: Fri 21 Sep 2007, 10:06 AM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 11:42 PM

"The name Zain was selected from a list of over 400 after extensive research across many countries and cultures validated its broad global appeal, " explained brand architect Tito Alai, the Group's chief commercial officer who also developed the Zain Group's successful Celtel brand in Africa.

"Although it was chosen for its simplicity, memorability and ease of pronunciation across the global marketplace, as an added bonus Zain was found to be rich in positive connotations, " he added.

According to Dr. Saad Al Barrak, Zain Group's chief executive officer, Zain plans to have its corporate office either in Dubai or in Bahrain.

He said that Zain will bring together all its operations under a single, strong and unique identity to propel the Group toward becoming one of the top ten global mobile telecommunications companies in the next four years.

The aim is to create a company that will invest between $6 billion and $8 billion over the first five years of operation. The company plans to raise its capitalisation to $30 billion by 2011.

"We expect MTC to take a market share of 5 percent in the first year of its operation. For each percentage point gain in market share for MTC, we estimate that the Saudi Telecommunication Company (STC) will lose 75bp, while Mobily will lose 25bp in market share. This is mainly on account of STC's higher base effect compared to Mobily, " said a recent report by HSBC.

The company is in the process of expansion. It is to conclude Islamic Murabaha financing agreements with a consortium of Saudi and international banks to fund license payments and business operations.

Zain is the leading telecommunications mobile provider in 21 countries across the Middle East and Africa. Four country operations in Kuwait and Bahrain, (both formerly MTC-Vodafone), Jordan (formerly Fastlink) and Sudan (formerly Mobitel) will immediately rebrand to Zain.

Regarding Zain's entry into the Saudi market, Al Barrak said in information made available to Khaleej Times here, that it is a competitive market. "We don't want a price war there, " he said and added that Zain would attract customers by offering quality service to its customers in the Kingdom. He said the group plans to bring Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Jordan and Iraq under one network. This will enable prepaid customers in these four countries to move freely across geographical borders without roaming call surcharges and without having to pay for incoming calls. "We have also submitted relevant papers to enter the Saudi stock exchange, " he added.

Speaking about the new logo, he said that the Zain brand and its new theme — 'Wonderful World' — capture the energy, inspiration and diversity of the Group's customers, employees and other stakeholders.

The new logo and its colourful identity reflect the Group's freshness, boldness and vitality with the "swirl " communicating the idea of an aura, something important to human life echoing growth, progression and diversity.

The new identity was developed in partnership with world leading consulting firms and advertising agencies.

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