MobiFone to miss 2007 privatisation?

16 Oct 2006

A delay in legislation governing the equitisation of government owned wireless companies could put MobiFone’s plan to go public early next year in jeopardy, says Tran Duc Lai, the Vietnamese Deputy Post and Telecommunications Minister. Vietnam Mobile Telecommunications Service (VMS), which operates under the MobiFone banner, was due to be the country’s first cellco to undergo the equitisation process. Its detailed privatisation plan got the go-ahead in principle from the government six months ago, but the delayed issue of decrees to guide the project has meant that VMS has not yet completed the valuation of its assets. Under the approved project the state would retain a 50% stake in the company with the remainder sold to an overseas investor. Thus far, five companies – including Sweden’s Comviq, Telenor and France Telecom – have expressed an interest in acquiring the stake.