1. The company held an extraordinary general meeting (EGM) of shareholders on November 12th to amend Article 22 of its Articles of Association. I didn't receive anything in the mail to inform me of this EGM or what exactly Article 22 says and why it had to be amended. Does anyone here know?
2. The company's new chairman is the undersecretary of the Ministry of Heritage. Wasn't there a royal decree about 10 years ago which forbids ministers and undersecretaries of holding such positions in publicly traded companies?
3. Omantel has been playing the press for the past few months about their plan to buy a Pakistani telecom company, WordCall. This week it finally announced that the deal is coming through. They'll pay $204 million for 65% of the company. Every single mention of this in the press, obviously through Omantel press releases, includes a paragraph or two about Pakistan's relatively low mobile phone penetration which makes it an attractive market. Putting the two together you'd naturally assume that WorldCall is a mobile telephone service provider, right? Wrong. According to WorldCall's website, the company has the following:
Wireless Local Loop (WLL) through CDMA 2000 1X technology in over 40 cities, nationwide presence of long distance & international (LDI) network with 44 POPs, over 70,000 payphones, largest broadband HFC networks in Pakistan providing triple play (CATV, broadband internet, telephony), the pioneer prepaid calling card "Hello" and rights to dark fibers in a national long haul network being built across Pakistan.In other words, WorldCall does provide wireless services, but they are WLL telephone and data services, not mobile phone.
Isn't Omantel deliberately misinforming their shareholders by implying that they are buying a mobile telecom company when they're not? And what about the company's financial performance? A quick glance at the WorldCall's financials shows that the company's 2007 results show flat sales and lower profit. Anywhere else, Omantel would have to explain whey are buying the company, but in Oman no one asks, so they don't have to play spin. And, by the way, WorldCall's majority shareholder is an Omani individual who owns about half of its shares. I wonder if he's offloading his entire stake to Omantel. If so, most of the $204 million will be going into his pocket.