Saudi phone gi­ant to buy 10% of Ca­reem ride app

Kuwait Times - - BUSINESS -

Saudi Ara­bia’s largest telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions firm STC plans to buy a 10 per­cent stake in car book­ing firm Ca­reem, the com­pany said yes­ter­day. Ca­reem is a com­peti­tor of US-based Uber, a smart­phone app that con­nects pas­sen­gers and driv­ers. In a no­tice to the Saudi stock ex­change, Saudi Tele­com Co said the pro­posed stake is worth $100 mil­lion, to be funded by STC’s “in­ter­nal fi­nan­cial re­sources.” The in­vest­ment is the lat­est high-pro­file Saudi ven­ture since Riyadh in April an­nounced its Vi­sion 2030 plan to di­ver­sify the oil-de­pen­dent econ­omy and broaden its in­vest­ment base. “This move is in line with the com­pany strat­egy to in­vest in the in­no­va­tive dig­i­tal world,” STC said, adding it would “en­hance com­mu­ni­ca­tion via mobile within the trans­port sys­tem.” Uber an­nounced in June that Saudi Ara­bia’s Pub­lic In­vest­ment Fund would in­ject $3.5 bil­lion to help the app’s global ex­pan­sion. Its ri­val Ca­reem was founded in 2012 and has op­er­a­tions in 47 cities across the Mid­dle East, North Africa, Turkey and Pak­istan, STC said. STC is the largest Arab telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions firm in terms of cap­i­tal­iza­tion. It has more than 100 mil­lion cus­tomers in nine coun­tries in­clud­ing Turkey, South Africa, In­dia and Malaysia.

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