Etisalat, UAE's incumbent telecoms carrier. Image Credit: Gulf News

Dubai: Etisalat, the biggest telecommunications company in the UAE, is seeking to buy back stock valued at as much as $2 billion. The shares climbed.

The board of Emirates Telecommunications Group, also known as Etisalat, recommended purchasing up to five per cent of the phone operator’s paid-up capital, or 434.8 million shares, the Abu Dhabi-based company said in a statement. The buyback is intended for canceling or reselling the shares, it said, without providing the terms.

Etisalat, which competes with Dubai-based Du at home, runs operations in countries ranging from Pakistan to Egypt. It has a market capitalisation of Dh151 billion ($41 billion), and based on Monday’s closing share price the buyback will be valued at Dh7.5 billion.

The shares advanced as much as 4.1 per cent, the most in more than than year, in Abu Dhabi. The board’s recommendation is subject to shareholders’ approval at a general assembly meeting scheduled for March 21.