Bahrain Investment Agency Selling Assets

SHARM EL-SHEIKH, Egypt, May 20 (Reuters) – Bahrain Mumtalakat Holdings, a state-owned investment agency worth at least $10 billion, said on Monday it plans to sell off assets and buy into foreign companies as part of a strategy by the Gulf oil producer to diversify its holdings.

Mumtalakat is considering two acquisitions: one in the service sector in North America worth as much as $1 billion dollars and the other in Asia, Talal al-Zain, chief executive officer of Mumtalakat, told Reuters.

Mumtalakat's assets include Aluminium Bahrain (Alba), Gulf Air and Bahrain Telecommunications Co BTEL.BH (Batelco).

The agency, which comprises stakes in 34 companies, plans to reduce its holdings in firms in which it has a majority position, such as Alba, Batelco and National Bank of Bahrain NATB.BH, Zain said.

Options include selling to long-term investors and initial public offering, he said.

(Reporting by James Cordahi; editing by Amran Abocar)