Azerbaijan’s Minister for Economic Development, Farhad Aliyev, says the 35.6% government stake in joint-venture mobile operator Azercell being sold later this year will be priced between USD180 million and USD195 million. Official confirmation of the valuation will be made next week. Azercell is 64.3% owned by Azertel and 35.7% by the state. Azertel is itself owned by Fintur (79.78%) and the privately owned Turkish telecommunications dealer chain, Cenay InÕaat (20.22%). In March 2004 the government had said it planned to sell its stake in Azercell by the end of the year for up to USD30 million, but its valuation has since skyrocketed. In accordance with local law, the shares will first be offered to Azertel, with any left unsold to be put out to international tender. CA IB Corporate Finance Beratungs and OMNI are the consultants handling the privatisation.