Nov. 11 (Bloomberg) -- Telecom Egypt, the country’s fixed-line telephone monopoly, is seeking to increase its investment in the mobile-phone market, Tarek Tantawy, chief executive officer and managing director, said.
“Our discussions with Vodafone have been basically put on hold and we continue to explore other options which I will not be able to go in to detail,” Tantawy said in a telephone interview. “We continue to explore options and there are other ways of getting exposure.”
Vodafone Group Plc, the world’s largest mobile-phone company, said on June 1 it won’t sell its 55 percent stake in its Egyptian unit to Telecom Egypt.
Telecom Egypt, which owns 45 percent of Vodafone Egypt, the country’s second-largest mobile-phone operator, had approached Vodafone about the stake, a person familiar with the matter said in May.
Cairo-based Telecom Egypt is focusing its expansion plans on Egypt and not abroad, Tantawy said after the company released its third-quarter earnings. “Our aim is to become a total communication provider in our home country,” he said.
Egyptian broadband penetration, currently at 6 percent of households, is expected to grow five-fold within the next couple of years, Tantawy said.
Shares of Telecom Egypt fell 0.3 percent to 17.4 Egyptian pounds at 11:59 a.m. in Cairo, valuing the company at 29.7 billion pounds ($5.16 billion).
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