Posts filed under ‘Qtel’

Qtel to delist from Bahrain exchange, considers further share sale (Qatar, Bahrain)

The board of Qatar Telecom (Qtel) has decided to delist the company’s shares from the Bahrain Stock Exchange (BSE) on 26 February 2009, according to a press release. The Qatari group said it took the decision because of consistently low volume trading of its shares on the BSE and the incremental administrative requirements inherent in the group’s multiple share listings, necessitated by its recent international expansion. Qtel does not anticipate that the delisting will adversely affect the liquidity of the stock, its shareholders or other investors. Qtel listed on the Doha Securities Market in 1998, the BSE in 2001, the Abu Dhabi Securities Market in 2002, and also has a global depositary receipt (GDR) listing on the London bourse (since 1999). Its 51%-owned subsidiary Wataniya Telecom is listed on the Kuwait stock market, whilst the group is currently attempting to take majority control of Indonesian operator Indosat. 

In related news, Qtel is reportedly preparing to sell further shares to finance its continuing international acquisition strategy, after ruling out increasing its debt pile to fund new purchases of licences or operators. Qtel initially relied on debt financing to fund its expansion into 17 countries, and by the end of September 2008 its consolidated debt was over QAR29 billion (USD8 billion), compared with around QAR1 billion at the end of 2006. The Qatari government participated in Qtel’s QAR5.86 billion (USD1.6 billion) rights issue in June 2008 to help fund further acquisitions. In 1998 45% of the company’s equity was sold to the public and government-related agencies. No single entity (other than the state) may own over 10% of Qtel’s capital (with telecoms firms limited to 5%). 

Wireless Industry News

February 2, 2009 at 17:39 Leave a comment

Indosat targets 12 Million subs addition in 2009 (Indonesia)

Indonesia’s second largest telecoms company by revenues and subscribers, PT Indosat, is looking to sign up at least twelve million new subscribers this year, Antara News reports citing comments by the group’s marketing director Guntur Siboro. Guntur is confident that the company, which is 40.81% owned by Qatar Telecom (Qtel), will grow by at least the same rate as in 2008, despite the country facing an economic contraction in the global downturn. Last year Indosat grew by between 11%-14% and by 30 September had a customer base of 35.5 million, of which eleven million were new users.

In a related story, Qtel says it will begin a tender offer for shares of Indosat tomorrow, as it looks to increase its ownership of the company to the maximum limit of 65% allowed under local law. The Qatari firm will launch two offers in the US and Indonesia respectively, on 24.19% of Indosat’s shares valued at IDR9.71 trillion (USD883 million). The offer is due to expire on 18 February, the Bisnis Indonesia daily said.

Wireless Industry News

January 19, 2009 at 19:23 Leave a comment

Vodafone Qatar IPO set for next month

Vodafone Qatar expects its delayed initial public offering (IPO) to go ahead next month, Reuters reports. The start-up mobile and fixed line operator is poised to break the monopolies of state-run Qatar Telecom (Qtel) but must first receive approval from the Qatar Financial Markets Authority (QFMA) to proceed with its planned IPO of 40% of its shares. A company spokeswoman told Reuters this morning, ‘Because of market conditions the QFMA told us to hold off and propose a new date, which we did…We will be given a date next month.’ The spokeswoman confirmed that Vodafone Qatar remained on track to launch commercial mobile services on 1 March, over a GSM network with capacity for one million users, although she added, ‘We will have customers on the first day but we don’t know how many. It will be a phased launch approach.’ Negotiations between Vodafone Qatar and Qtel about interconnection charges are ongoing, the spokeswoman said. 

A consortium of UK-based Vodafone Group and Qatar Foundation (a non-profit organisation established by Qatar’s emir, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani) won Qatar’s second mobile operating licence in December 2007 with a bid of QAR7.716 billion (USD2.12 billion). It was awarded its 20-year concession on 29 June 2008, after completing legal processes to finalise its ownership structure and submitting plans for an IPO to sell 40% of its shares to the public and 15% to local governmental institutions, as a pre-requisite to launching services in the country. The IPO was originally scheduled for end-June 2008, before a new deadline of 30 November 2008 was put forward, but the company did not get the go-ahead from the financial regulator. After the planned share sales Vodafone Group will control 22.95% of Vodafone Qatar. Of the remainder, Qatar Foundation holds 22.05%, and the rest has been allocated for public shareholders (40%) and government/domestic institutions (Foundation for Education, Science & Community Development [5%], Military Pension Fund [3.3%], Military Staff Loan Funds [3.4%] and Health & Education Endowment [3.3%]).

On 15 September 2008 Vodafone Qatar was announced as the winner of Qatar’s second fixed line network operating licence, with a WiMAX wireless frequency concession thrown in. As the largest single shareholder, Vodafone Group has overall board control and a five-year management contract.

Wireless Industry News

January 9, 2009 at 13:38 Leave a comment

Vodafone Qatar to launch mobile services on 1 March, plans cable landing station

Vodafone Qatar, which is set to launch pre- and post-paid mobile services nationwide on 1 March, says it will establish an international cable landing station in the Middle East country. Vodafone Qatar chief executive officer Grahame Maher told Gulf Times: ‘We have identified some sites in coastal areas to locate Vodafone’s new international landing station in Qatar…to improve international access and redundancy in the country.’ Maher added, ‘There are several organisations looking to bring new cables to Qatar in a joint venture with our partners Qatar Foundation. Having Vodafone in Qatar improves the attractiveness of these cable ventures given the volume of our international traffic and size of our international footprint.’ Initially, the operator will be using the existing landing stations established by incumbent Qatar Telecom (Qtel). Fixed line and mobile licensee Vodafone Qatar plans to offer high speed internet and data communications to mobile customers from the outset.

Wireless Industry News

January 6, 2009 at 14:11 Leave a comment


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