Government awaits ruling before making Mobtel decision

20 May 2005

The Serbian government is prepared to wait for a court decision before deciding on the future of its stake in the country’s second largest cellular operator, Mobtel. The International Arbitration Court in Zurich is currently examining the ownership structure of the cellco, which has attracted interest from mobilkom Austria. The state initially had a 49% interest in Mobtel when it was founded in 1995, with the investment company BK Trade taking the controlling stake. Problems arose, however, when the state made investments in the operator which it claimed were not matched by the other shareholder, and the government says it is now entitled to an enlarged stake. A recent study said the state should be given around 58%, but according to a report from Telecompaper, Serbia’s finance minister Mladjan Dinkic is happy to wait for the outcome of the Arbitration Court’s investigation before considering a sell-off as it may award the government a higher percentage.

Serbia, Telenor Serbia