Telecom giants Telstra, Telenor eye Vietnam's MobiFone: report

Thanh Nien News

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At least three foreign companies have reportedly expressed interest in becoming a strategic partner with local telecom giant MobiFone, as the company is set to sell state-owned shares this year.
Australia's biggest telecom company Telstra has met with MobiFone many times over the past year, news website VnEconomy reported on Wednesday, citing a MobiFone representative.
Telstra reaffirmed its interest at a meeting with Minister of Information and Communications last month, the report said.
Swedish mobile network operator Comviq and Norwegian operator Telenor too want to invest in MobiFone, according to the website.
In the meantime, MobiFone's share sale plan remains unclear.
Early media reports indicated that MobiFone, now wholly owned by the Ministry of Information and Communications after severing its ties with the Vietnam Posts and Telecommunications Group (VNPT) in 2014, would possibly sell a maximum stake of 20 percent to foreign investors.
However, over the past decade, the plan's details, including time frame, have been constantly changed.
The share sale plan was back on the table again at the end of last year, still without specifics. The Ministry of Information and Communications told the media that the sale will possibly raise around VND20 trillion ($882.75 million).
In its April report, UK-based intangible asset valuation consultancy Brand Finance estimated MobiFone's brand value at $539 million, up 76 percent from last year.
Together with VNPT's Vinaphone and military-run Viettel, MobiFone controls a majority of Vietnam's telecom market which boasted over 120.3 million mobile subscribers at the end of last year.

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