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Telecom Egypt Surges on Mobile License Approval: Cairo Mover

Dec. 31 (Bloomberg) -- Telecom Egypt Co., the country’s monopoly fixed-line telephone provider, rose to the highest in almost 11 months after a license to provide mobile services using its competitors’ networks was approved.

The shares gained 2.1 percent to 14.68 Egyptian pounds, the highest close since Feb. 14, raising the company’s value to 25.1 billion pounds ($3.6 billion). The stock rose 3.8 percent this year, while the benchmark EGX 30 Index jumped 24 percent.

The telecommunications regulator will also allow the nation’s three other mobile companies, Egyptian Co. for Mobile Services’s Mobinil, Vodafone Plc.’s local unit and Etisalat Misr, to provide landline services using Telecom Egypt’s infrastructure. Egypt’s cabinet is yet to give its final approval.

“It should be positive for Telecom Egypt because it will grant it direct entry to the mobile market without any capital intensive investments in the network,” said Ahmed Adel, telecommunications analyst at Cairo-based Naeem Brokerage. “They will be able to work in the market for a year or two, making a subscribers base without any cost in network.”

Telecom Egypt hasn’t been informed officially by the National Telecommunications Regulatory Authority, it said today in a statement. It will consider bidding for a full license when faster fourth-generation frequencies are offered by the government, Chief Executive Officer Mohammed Elnawawy said in a Nov. 13 interview.

To contact the reporter on this story: Tamim Elyan in Cairo at telyan@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Claudia Maedler at cmaedler@bloomberg.net

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