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China Mobile Buys 18% Stake in Thailand Mobile Network

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China Mobile is about to make another of its occasional overseas investments, with plans to buy an 18% stake in a Thai network.

Shares in Thailand's True Corp were suspended by the stock market ahead of an announcement by the company.

In a statement from True, it confirmed that China Mobile will pay $880 million to buy an 18 percent stake in the Thai firm. It is paying 13 percent below the shareprice when trading was suspended.

True Corp would issue fresh shares to the new investor, bringing in much needed fresh cash for the mobile network to spend on upgrading its infrastructure. True Corp is the only mobile network operator in the country not to have a foreign shareholder, and has been seeking investment to help reduce debt and fund upgrades.

The deal, which has apparently been discussed for some time comes as the government is still in turmoil and there is some question about whether the telecoms regulator will be able to proceed with the critical radio spectrum auctions later this year.

China Mobile is sitting on a cash war chest of nearly USD70 billion, but has made only limited investments overseas, most notably in Pakistan, although it has operations in Hong Kong and Macau.

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Tags: china mobile  true corp  Thailand