Egypt’s communications minister said on Monday a final decision had not been made over whether landline monopoly Telecom Egypt would try to boost its stake in Vodafone’s Egyptian unit.
Telecom Egypt, 80 percent owned by the Egyptian government, said on Friday it was considering options to enter Egypt’s competitive mobile market, including increasing its 45 percent stake in Vodafone Egypt.
"This issue must be dealt with calmly, because it takes some time and requires studies and comparisons and research into available options," Tarek Kamel said in comments carried by state news agency MENA.
On Sunday, the first trading session after Telecom Egypt said it was considering raising its Vodafone stake, shares in Telecom Egypt rose 4.1 percent, while the main index EGX30 inched down 0.4 percent.
The number of mobile subscriptions in Egypt rose 1.2 million to 57.7 million in March, a state website showed on Sunday.
Vodafone Egypt competes with Mobinil, jointly held by Orascom Telecom, and France Telecom, and Etisalat Egypt, a unit of UAE-based Etisalat.