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Zain Saudi ordered to pay rival Mobily $58.5m

Zain Saudi ordered to pay rival Mobily $58.5m

Zain Saudi said that it previously made provisions to cover the full amount awarded

Saudi Arabia’s third-biggest telecom operator Zain Saudi has been ordered to pay Etihad Etisalat (Mobily) SAR219.46m ($58.51m) following an arbitration award, the companies said on Sunday.

The kingdom’s second-biggest operator, Mobily asked for arbitration in December 2014 over money it said was owed related to services to Zain Saudi, an affiliate of Kuwait’s Zain Group , which included domestic roaming and site sharing.

At the time, Mobily did not disclose how much money it was seeking from Zain Saudi in arbitration but noted that it was owed SAR2.2bn as of Nov. 30, 2013.

Shares in Mobily jumped 6.4 per cent in the first few minutes of trading on the news of the arbitration award, and Zain KSA’s stock was 0.6 per cent higher.

Mobily, an affiliate of Abu Dhabi’s Etisalat, said it intended to start the necessary procedures to collect the award, which was communicated to the company on Nov. 10, with the award “final and binding on both parties”.

Zain Saudi said the judgement was not enforceable for 60 days, during which time the company had the right to apply to the competent court for invalidity of the judgement.

The company has not yet taken a decision on such an appeal, according to its statement. An industry source said Zain Saudi was unlikely to launch such an action.

Zain Saudi said it previously made provisions to cover the full amount awarded and that it would not have a negative financial impact on the company.

Mobily and Zain Saudi will also each pay the “expert appointed by the arbitration panel” SAR1.16m, the Zain statement said.

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