UAE telecoms firm Etisalat is seeking a lower stake in Kuwait’s Zain, Reuters reports. According to the newswire Etisalat is looking to buy 40 per cent instead of the 46 per cent previously agreed. It is understod that Kuwait’s Kharafi Group, which is leading the sale, failed to get enough support to sell the 46 per cent.

The deal has caused much controversy in Kuwait. Al-Fawares Holding Group, which owns a 4.5 per cent stake in Zain, has taken legal action to halt the due diligence process. The Kuwaiti court is due to pass a ruling on 22 December.

Etisalat announced in September that it was offering KD1.7 per share valuing the deal at $12bn. The company has set a deadline for 15 January 2011 for a final decision.