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    Mar 2009
    Lonley Planet

    Default Dhaka Telecom Regulator Approves Bharti Airtelís 70% Stake Offer

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    Bangladesh's telecom regulator has approved Indian firm Bharti Airtel's $300 million initial investment proposal to buy a 70% stake in Warid telecom.

    "We have approved Bharti Airtel's plan to buy the Warid stake," Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) chairman Zia Ahmed told a newspaper.

    Now, Bharti Airtel will take over a 70% stake in Warid by creating new shares at a nominal price.

    Talking at the sidelines of a meeting with Airtelís chief Sunil Bharti Mittal in Dhaka, Ahmed said, "We hope Airtel investment would cross $1 billion within the next few years."

    Ahmed added: "Whatever price Airtel is going to pay for Warid stake, as per law, 5.5% of the deal amount must go to BTRC."

    Bharti Airtel is one of the Asia's leading network providers with presence in all the 22 licensed jurisdictions in India and in Sri Lanka. It has about 113,439,670 customers till Sep 30.

    The company is also involved in many other activities like managing passive infrastructure of telecom operations under its subsidiary Bharti Infratel Ltd.

    Earlier Bharti Airtel had expressed interest to invest in Bangladesh's mobile phone market in October 2008 during a meeting with Bangladesh telecom officials at South Asian Telecommunication Regulators' Council in New Delhi.

    Now, Airtel has become the first Indian company to start its operation in Bangladesh. The other joint ventures in the country include Bangladesh-Norway joint venture Grameenphone, Egypt-based Banglalink, Malaysia-Japan joint venture AKTEL, Bangladesh-Singapore joint venture Citycell and state-run Teletalk.

    Welcoming the Indian telecom giant to the country, the BTRC chairman said that the people of the country would now get a quality and competitive service from a dynamic service provider.



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