BUCHAREST -(Dow Jones)- The chief executive of Greek mobile operator Cosmote Mobile Telecommunications (COSMO.AT) Friday said the company plans to invest more than EUR450 million over the next three years to revamp its Romanian mobile phone unit, Cosmorom SA.
"There is a lot of room for growth for another player (in Romania)," Evangelos Martigopoulos told reporters in Bucharest.
Cosmote holds a 70% stake in Cosmorom, which it gained through a EUR120 million capital injection earlier this year., following a deal with RomTelecom SA, Romania's dominant telecommunication company.
Cosmorom has only 90,000 customers in Romania, but the country's current mobile phone penetration rate of 52% - compared with 107% in Greece - gives the operator enough room to grow, Martigopoulos said.
"We don't promise miracles, but our reputation is at stake," he said.
Cosmorom will have to compete in Romania with MobiFon SA and Orange Romania SA, which together have some 5 million customers. Mobifon is majority owned by Vodafone Group PLC (VOD) and Orange Romania is majority owned by France Telecom's (13330.FR) mobile arm, Orange.
Cosmorom will cooperate in Romania with Romtelecom, which is majority owned by Greece's Hellenic Telecommunications Organization (OTE).
Cosmote is very active in southeastern Europe, where it owns other three mobile operators: AMC in Albania, GloBul in Bulgaria and Cosmofon inMacedonia.
Martigopoulos said that international holdings are expected to contribute by 30%-35% to the company total revenues by 2007.
-By Cristi Cretzan; Dow Jones Newswires; (4021) 210-8197; email@example.com
(END) Dow Jones Newswires"
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