Shares of telecom firms Omantel, Ooredoo fall

By Samuel Kutty — MUSCAT: Jan 1: On resuming trading on Sunday after a day’s suspension on Thursday, share prices of  Omantel and Ooredoo  came under pressure with losses. The shares of the state-owned Omantel, which opened for trading at RO 1.450 from its previous close of RO 1.515, suffered a loss of 65 baisas after closing at RO 1.455. The Omani Qatari Telecommunications Company Ooredoo’s loss stood at 48 baisas when closed at 612 baisas from its previous close of 660 baisas.  Trading in shares of both the telecom companies was suspended by the Muscat Securities Market on Thursday following the companies’ failure to disclose the  impact arising from the Telecommunication Regulatory Authority’s (TRA) decision to raise royalty fee.

However, later in the afternoon both the companies posted their disclosure statement on the website of the local bourse. TRA, in a letter on Thursday, informed the local bourse about the  Council of Minister’s decision to revert royalty percentage on telecommunication operators to 12 per cent. Omantel said in its filing, “If the same increase had been applied for the first nine months of 2016, the effect on net profit would have been a reduction of RO 16 million.” Ooredoo said that if the same increase had been applied for the first nine months of 2016, the effect on net income would have been a reduction of RO 8.7 million or 23.3 per cent.