Selasa, 25 Maret 2008

Telekom Malaysia, south-east Asias second-largest telecoms group, said it would keep control of its wireless business in any stake sale, dimming the appeal for potential suitors including Orascom Telecom.

"We must be able to actually control its operations," Abdul Wahid Omar, Telekom Malaysia chief executive, said on Wednesday after reporting record full-year profit. "Should any decision be made to bring in a partner it will not be a majority, it would be a minority stake."

Insisting on control might hamper Telekoms ability to reap a premium for the business, which it estimates is worth M$28bn ($8.7bn). Orascom, the biggest mobile carrier in the Middle East and North Africa by number of users, has said it is interested in bidding for joint control of Telekom.

Vodafone, Emirates Telecommunications, AT&T, China Mobile and Vivendi have expressed interest in bidding for a stake in TM International, the holding company for Telekoms domestic and overseas mobile assets, the Malaysian company said last month. TM International is scheduled to be listed in Malaysia by July.

Telekoms demand for control "surely would" influence any decision to bid for a stake, said Naguib Sawiris, Orascom Telecom chief executive.

"We are still interested and will wait and see what deal is being offered and whether it will allow for benefits for both sides," said Mr Sawiris.

Telekom may opt for a partner who can help the Malaysian company expand in Vietnam or Pakistan to complement its overseas operations, instead of accepting the highest offer, said Mr Abdul Wahid, who will leave to become chief executive officer of Malayan Banking, the countrys largest bank, in July.


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