Qtel is interested in acquisitions in Libya and Syria as it extends its geographical reach and focuses on new data and broadband offerings, Zawya reported.
CEO Nasser Marafih said on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Istanbul that Qtel got involved in the third licence in Syria before the political problems arose. He said Qtel is interested in Libya because it thinks it is a good market to be in and it would fit with the firm's presence in North Africa.
In that region, Qtel has investments in Algeria and in Tunisia, where its Tunisiana unit acquired licences to operate fixed line and 3G services last month. Marafih said the need for regional telecoms to cut costs and become more efficient to compete would drive consolidation.
Qtel's acquisition of a bigger stake in Iraq's Asiacell falls in line with its strategy of buying and then judiciously expanding telecoms in the region, Marafih said. As elsewhere in the region, the promise in Iraq lies in expanding offerings, Marafih said. The conditions of Asiacell's licence call for the company to list shares on Iraq's stock market, which Marafih said he hoped could be completed by the end of this year. Morgan Stanley and HSBC have been appointed to handle the offering, he said. Source: telecompaper.com