Zain Group ( Arabic : مجموعة زين ‎) is a mobile telecommunications company founded in 1983 in Kuwait as MTC (Mobile Telecommunications Company), and later rebranded as Zain in 2007. Zain has a commercial presence in eight countries across the Middle East with 45.3 million active customers as at 30 September, 2017. The Vice Chairman and Group CEO is Bader Nasser Al–Kharafi, who was appointed in March 2017. [10] [12] Approximately 24.24% of the company is owned by Kuwait Investment Authority; 16.26% is owned by Al-Khair National for Stocks & Real Estate Co; only shareholders that own above 5% are disclosed.

Financial highlights

Zain is listed on the Kuwait Stock Exchange . There are no restrictions on Zain shares as the company’s capital is 100% free float and publicly traded. The largest shareholder is the Kuwait Investment Authority (24.24%).

For the full-year 2016, Zain Group generated consolidated revenues of KD 1.1 billion (USD 3.6 billion), down 4% Y-o-Y, while consolidated EBITDA for the period grew by 3% Y-o-Y and reached KD 512 million (USD 1.7 billion), reflecting a healthy EBITDA margin of 47%. Consolidated net income reached KD 157 million (USD 519 million), up 2% and reflecting Earnings Per Share of 40 Fils (USD 0.13).

For the full-year 2016, foreign currency translation impact, predominantly due to the 60% currency devaluation in Sudan from 6.4 to 15.9 (SDG / USD) in the beginning of November 2016, cost the company USD 92 million in revenue, USD 38 million in EBITDA and USD 44 million in net income. [7]


Zain has presence in a number of countries.

Country Site Remarks
Bahrain Zain started operations in the Kingdom of Bahrain in 14 August 2003 as MTC-Vodafone . Since then, it has introduced 4.5G LTE services to the country. Zain’s network covers 100% of the Bahrain's Bahraini population.
Iraq Zain has provided mobile services in Iraq since December 2003. After securing a 15-year license in August 2007, Zain acquired Iraqna ’s network, becoming the largest mobile operator in Iraq with approximately 13 million customers.
Jordan In 1994, Zain in Jordan, formerly Fastlink, was the first to introduce mobile services in the country. In 2003, it was the first to join what is now the Zain Group’s Middle East portfolio. it now offers 4.5G LTE services across the Kingdom.
Kuwait Zain in Kuwait is the group's flagship operation, which was established in 1983 and in 1994 became the first telecom operator to launch commercial GSM services in the region and now offers nationwide 4.5G LTE.
Lebanon In June 2004, Zain won a four-year management contract to operate one of Lebanon’s two GSM networks, rebranded to touch, which has subsequently been renewed. In June 2012, MTC Touch rebranded to touch. touch also offers 4.5G LTE services.
Morocco On 14 March 2009, Zain in a 50/50 partnership with Al Ajial Investment Fund Holding acquired 31% of Wana Corporate SA INWI (formerly known as Wana) in Morocco .
Saudi Arabia Zain launched its commercial operations in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on 26 August 2008, a year after it was awarded its mobile license. The group holds management control of the operation through its 37% ownership stake. Zain Saudi Arabia also offers 4.5G LTE services.
South Sudan Zain is the No. 1 operator in South Sudan.
Sudan In February 2006, Zain acquired the remaining 61% stake of Mobitel, Sudan’s first mobile operator, in a deal valued at $1.332 billion, resulting in 100% ownership. The company was rebranded to Zain in September 2007 and subsequently renewed its license in Sudan for a period of 20 years. The operation offers 4G services in major cities across the country.

Presence in Africa (2005–2010)

From 2005 to 2010, Zain maintained a presence in a number of countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, in addition to its core market in the MENA region.

Zain entered Africa in May 2005 through the $3.4 billion purchase of Celtel International which had 13 country operations in Africa, serving five million customers at that time. Zain invested heavily across the continent through network upgrades and acquiring two more country licences. By June 2010, Zain had over 40 million customers across the continent, operating in Burkina Faso, Chad, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Gabon, Ghana, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Niger, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia.

In early 2010, Zain accepted an offer for the sale of all its Africa operations. On 8 June 2010, Zain announced that it had satisfied all required conditions precedent to closing of the sale of 100% of Zain Africa BV to Bharti Airtel Limited for $10.7 billion on an enterprise basis. [6]

Today, Zain operates on the African continent only in Sudan and South Sudan.