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Government: no plans to sell BeST shares

20 Dec 2007

The Belarusian Minister for Information Technologies and Communications Nikolai Pantelei has confirmed there are no plans to sell off any of its 75% stake in domestic mobile operator Belarusian Telecommunications Network (BeST) – held through state-owned Automation Means Institute AGAT. The minister said that while the company needed additional investments in order to grow, the government did not envisage any moves to bring in additional investors at this time. He conceded though that the launch of the country’s third GSM mobile operator had been ‘quite painful’ and that additional investment would be very useful to continue its development. BeST has been providing cellular communication services since 21 December 2005. At the end of September 2007 the cellco had an estimated 160,000 subscribers, a market share of around 2.3%. Its other shareholder is national PTO Beltelecom, which owns 25% of the company.

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