DUBAI, June 18, (RTRS): Kuwait mobile operator Zain will make acquisitions and partnerships in computer-based industries this year to exploit rising demand for data and help offset falling conventional call and text income, its chief executive told Reuters. However Scott Gegenheimer, who became CEO in December having previously held the same position at domestic rival Wataniya , said Zain — which operates in eight countries — had no immediate plans to expand into any new nations. That is in contrast to other Gulf former monopolies, which continue to pursue stakes in foreign operators. United Arab Emirates’ Etisalat and Ooredoo (Qatar Telecom) both bid for Vivendi’s 53 percent stake in Maroc Telecom before Ooredoo withdrew its offer last week. Bahrain Telecommunications acquired most of Cable & Wireless Communications’ Islands division earlier this year.
Yet for Gegenheimer, Zain’s future lies in diversifying its revenue streams, rather than planting flags in new territories. He does not plan to sell any of the company’s foreign units, which include operators in Saudi Arabia, Sudan and Iraq. “Our approach is to seek in-country, bolt-on acquisitions which will allow us to develop capabilities to offer unified communications, cloud services and ICT services,” he said in a telephone interview. “I don’t see us making billion-dollar acquisitions, but we need to get into these sectors.”
These could include buying or partnering with data centres and internet services providers, he said.