CAIRO: Telecom Egypt said on Tuesday it was considering bidding for Egypt s third mobile license, but denied it was holding any talks to sell a stake in Vodafone Egypt to do so.
Egyptian daily Al-Alam Al-Youm said Telecom Egypt had begun talks to sell its 25.5 percent stake in Vodafone Egypt, a subsidiary of Britain s Vodafone Group Plc, as part of preparations to make a bid for the third mobile license.
The government has said the third license will be auctioned in early February.
We have the intention to bid for the third mobile (license) dependent on the requests for proposals (for the license) that will be issued by the government, Telecom Egypt Chief Financial Officer Ali Salama told Reuters.
Bidding has nothing to do with our interest in Vodafone (Egypt), he said. There are no talks about selling our interest in Vodafone, he added.
Telecom Egypt agreed in 2003 to relinquish an unused third license, leaving MobiNil and Vodafone Egypt as the only two mobile phone operators in the Arab world s most populous country. Under the deal, TE took the stake in Vodafone Egypt.
Kuwait s Mobile Telecommunications Co. and Emirates Telecommunications Corp. have said they will bid for the third license. Saudi Telecom said it was studying investment opportunities in the Middle East, including Egypt s third mobile license. Agencies