MTN says it is actively evaluating an opportunity to participate in a tender process to acquire one of two new telecoms licences being issued out by the Myanmar government.
Shares in MTN moved R2.77 or 1.57% higher to R178.71 on the JSE on Monday (4 January), a day when the all share index slipped a fraction of a percent to 40,532 points.
“MTN is continuously pursuing opportunities for growth as part of creating value for our shareholders. Myanmar represents one of the most attractive growth opportunities globally at present,” said Rich Mkhondo, executive, group corporate affairs, MTN.
“Accordingly, MTN is actively evaluating the opportunity to participate in the process being run by the Myanmar (Burma) government to issue two new telecoms licenses.”
Myanmar based publication, Eleven Media Group had earlier reported that MTN held discussions with officials at the Directorate of Investment and Companies Administration (DICA) about a tender calling for bids to become an operator in the country.
The tender for two new mobile networks in Myanmar was announced on January 15 by the Telecommunication Operator Tender Evaluation and Selection Committee.
A number of other global operators are believed to have submitted expressions of interest in acquiring a licence, including Bharti Airtel, SingTel, Norwegian firm Telenor, Digicel, and Malaysia’s U Mobile.
Myanmar’s Communications and Information Technology Ministry said it aims to lift its mobile penetration rate, currently at about 10%, to about 80% by 2016 through the new licences. The country has a population of approximately 50 million.
MTN has GSM licences in 21 countries and internet service provider businesses in 13 countries, across Africa, Europe and the Middle East.
A deadline for expressions of interest has been set for 8 February.