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France Telecom finalizes terms of Mobinil buyout

By Leila Abboud and Tom Pfeiffer /Reuters PARIS/CAIRO: France Telecom has finalized a deal to buy most of its partner’s stake in Egyptian mobile operator Mobinil for €1.5 billion ($2 billion), leaving the venture with 95 percent French ownership but significant Egyptian board and management presence. Orascom Telecom Media and Technology Holding’s (OTMT) shares jumped 5.2 …


New mobile rules would only affect new entrants: official

By Reuters CAIRO: Proposed amendments to an Egyptian law requiring mobile telecom operators to give a percentage of their shares to Egyptians would apply only to new license operators, a communications ministry official said on Tuesday. Orascom Telecom Media and Technology said in February it had reached a preliminary accord to sell most of its …


OT 4th quarter net loss narrows to $83 million

By Reuters CAIRO: Orascom Telecom Holding SAE (OT), the Egyptian company bought last year by Russia’s Vimpelcom Ltd, said on Monday it narrowed its losses in the fourth quarter to $83 million compared with a year earlier when it was hit by impairment charges. Orascom was expected to report net income of $70 million, according …


Egypt minister sees telecom tender within 4 weeks

By Matt Smith and Regan Doherty / Reuters DOHA: Egypt will launch a tender for mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) licenses within four weeks, the country’s communications minister said on Tuesday. MVNOs are mobile phone service providers which lease excess network capacity from telecom operators. Industry executives had been hoping the tender would take place last …


Africa offers promise and peril to telcos

By Leila Abboud and Kate Holton / Reuters BARCELONA: Poor infrastructure, fragmented markets and stiff competition mean Africa poses risks as well as potential rewards for telecom operators hunting for growth in countries like oil-rich Nigeria and post-revolution Libya and Tunisia. With new cheaper smartphones set to drive sales, a growing corporate market, and the fact …


Qtel to go for growth in Middle East and Asia

By Leila Abboud and Kate Holton / Reuters BARCELONA: Qatar Telecom is keen to expand via acquisitions while also growing organically in countries like Tunisia, Algeria, and Iraq where its existing mobile and fixed networks need major investment, its CEO told Reuters. Nasser Marafih, who heads the highly profitable telecom operator based in the oil-rich …


Egypt mobile phone subscriptions up 18 pct in 2011

By Mohamed Samir / Reuters CAIRO: The number of mobile phone subscriptions in Egypt rose 18 percent to 83.43 million last year, shrugging off an economic crisis sparked by the overthrow of President Hosni Mubarak, government figures showed on Thursday. In December 2010, Egypt’s three mobile operators — Etisalat Egypt, Mobinil and the Egyptian unit of …


Telecom Egypt sees businesses investing again

By Tom Pfeiffer / Reuters CAIRO: Landline monopoly Telecom Egypt expects to maintain its profitability this year as it presses ahead with cost cuts and business clients look again at investing after a turbulent 2011, company executives said on Thursday. Telecom Egypt reported fourth-quarter net profit of LE584 million ($96.8 million), up 0.5 percent from a …


OTMT says Mobinil talks to finish in weeks

By Patrick Werr / Reuters CAIRO: Egypt’s Orascom Telecom Media Technology (OTMT) said on Wednesday it hoped to wrap up negotiations within a few weeks with France Telecom over the sale of most of its stake in Egyptian mobile operator Mobinil. Under the terms of a preliminary accord signed last week, France Telecom would buy the …


UBS cuts Mobinil to neutral

LONDON: UBS downgraded Mobinil to "neutral" from "buy" citing fears of a potential delay in a deal by France Telecom to buy Egyptian tycoon Naguib Sawiris’ stake in the country’s largest mobile phone operator. On Feb. 13, France Telecom said it had reached a preliminary accord to buy out most of Sawiris’ stake in Mobinil …


Mobinil says Q4 net loss $29 million

CAIRO: Egyptian mobile firm Mobinil said on Monday it posted a net loss in the fourth quarter of 2011 of LE 177 million ($29.32 million). The firm had posted a net income of LE 342 million in the same quarter of 2010, it said in a statement. Mobinil said revenue in the fourth quarter of …


YEAREND SPECIAL: Cut-throat telecoms competition a boon to consumers

By Christopher Le Coq Competition remained rife in the telecommunications sector in 2010, resulting in mergers and acquisitions as well as price wars, leaving consumers coming out on top. No doubt, the year kicked off in full swing with the protracted slugfest between France Telecom (FT) and Orascom Telecom (OT), as each battled it out over …


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