Batelco Still Interested in Re-Entering Indian Mobile Market

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Bahrain's Batelco is interested in taking control of companies where it holds minority stakes and has not ruled out another attempt to launch a network in India.

Batelco currently owns a 27% stake in Yemen's Sabafon and minority stakes in internet providers in Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, as well as investments in Egypt.

In an financial statement earlier this year, the company revealed that 38% of revenues and 34% of operating profit are now sourced from markets outside Bahrain.

"If opportunities such as what Qtel has done with Wataniya come along with any of our portfolio holdings, of course we will look at it favourably," Sheikh Mohamed Isa al-Khalifa, Batelco group chief executive, told Reuters on the sidelines of a conference in Dubai.

The company also pulled out of India in the wake of the 2008 GSM licenses scandal which saw its local partner, S Tel stripped of its licenses.

Sheikh Mohamed added that Batelco was keen on re-entering India.

"The problem with India is that there's no clarity right now on how the market is going to develop - we would like to be there, but at the right price," he said.

On the web: Reuters

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Tags: batelco  Bahrain 

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