Shareholders of Bolivian fixed line operator Entel have agreed to a move to reduce the operator’s equity by USD400 million, according to BNamericas. The telco’s president Mario Fumi said the equity cut was necessary to improve the company’s financial ratios as it is suffering from having surplus cash. The USD400 million concerned is held in offshore bank accounts and cannot be invested in Bolivia due to the small size of the local market.
In a related story, the Bolivian cooperative Cotas is reported to be preparing a bid to purchase Telecom Italia’s 50% share in Entel. Mario Fumi also confirmed that a number of other interested parties are looking at the feasibility of buying Entel, which he says is not a surprise given the company’s healthy financial situation. Entel boasted 1.36 million mobile subscribers at end of June, up from 999,000 the previous year. Meanwhile, the number of internet users rose almost 10% to 15,608 at the same date, compared to 14,273 twelve months earlier.