Ooredoo Said to Weigh Stake Sale in Indonesian Unit Indosat

  • Ooredoo may explore a sale to focus on Middle Eastern markets
  • Sale could attract interest from carriers expanding in Asia

Ooredoo QSC is exploring options including a sale of its controlling stake in Indonesia’s phone carrier PT Indosat as the Qatari phone company seeks to raise cash and focus on its more profitable Middle Eastern markets, according to people familiar with the matter.

The carrier could sell its 65 percent stake in Indosat to another phone company willing to expand in the region, the people said, asking not to be identified because the deliberations are private. The holding has a market value of about $1.4 billion. No final decision has been made and deliberations are still at a preliminary stage, the people said.

Ooredoo said it has no intention of selling its interest in Indosat, according to a statement dated Sept. 20 on its website. Indosat shares rose as much as 2.9 percent, the most in a week, in Jakarta trading Wednesday.

Ooredoo, which has operations spanning Algeria to Myanmar, is also considering a sale of its indirect stake in Singapore’s StarHub Ltd., people with knowledge of the matter said in July. Ooredoo is majority owned by the Qatar Investment Authority sovereign wealth fund and other government related entities. Investment funds in many Middle Eastern countries are raising cash through asset sales to combat declining oil prices.

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