September 18, 2008

Saudi Telecom May Cut 3,000 Jobs in Overseas Expansion Drive

Saudi Telecom is likely to reduce 14% of its workforce in its home market, to expand in the North African telecom market. The move may affect nearly 3,000 employees.

According to news reports, Saudi Telecom has been recently rejected by French media group, Vivendi, to acquire its stake in Morocco's Moroc Telecom.

Increased competition from rivals like Kuwait's Zain and Emirates Telecommunications in the domestic market is forcing the company to improve profitability. It has spent nearly $6 billion in the past 15 months for foreign expansion.

Saudi Telecom holds a 35% stake in Oger Telecom, which holds a majority stake in Turk Telekom and 75% of Cell C, a south African mobile operator. It also holds a 26% stake in the consortium setting up a third mobile network in Kuwait.

Saud Al Duweish, CEO of Saudi Telecom, said: "We are interested in the Middle East and North Africa in general but we are looking at North Africa in particular."