EVN Telecom speeds up privatization

TN News

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EVN Telecom, a subsidiary of state-owned Electricity of Vietnam, plans to complete its share selloff this year as the company is facing financial difficulties, news website VnExpress reported Friday.

The phone company will sell up to 30 percent of its shares in an initial public offering and at least 20 percent to foreign strategic partners, the report said. Foreign candidates have to meet certain requirements including experience in operating 3G networks.

VnExpress said two foreign institutional investors and two local companies have offered to become EVN Telecom's partners.

The report cited an unnamed source as saying that EVN Telecom has had to speed up the process of equitization (the term for privatization in Vietnam) because the company faces financial difficulties and increased competition from other mobile phone carriers.

Vo Quang Lam, deputy general director at EVN Telecom, said the plan to sell shares to foreign investors has been approved by the government.

As negotiations are ongoing, the names of the prospective investors cannot be announced now, Lam said.

Three local telecom companies have partnered with foreign firms Hanoi Telecom, S-Fone and Gtel. However, the partnerships are unstable and likely to fail, VnExpress noted.

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