Telkom after SingTel’s Telkomsel stake

30 May 2008

Indonesia’s largest telecoms group PT Telekomunikasi Indonesia (Telkom) is interested in buying back shares in its mobile unit Telkomsel from Singapore Telecommunications (SingTel) if the Singaporean company decides to sell, Thomson Financial reports citing an article in the Strait Times. As the majority shareholder in Telkomsel, the operator would have the first option on acquiring the shares, Telkom chairman Tanri Abeng told the newspaper. Earlier this month Singapore’s state-owned investment company and parent of SingTel, Temasek Holdings, lost its appeal in the Indonesian courts to have an anti-trust ruling overturned, and must now sell its stake in either of the country’s largest mobile operators – Telkomsel and Indosat’s Satelindo unit – within a year. Temasek, which holds an indirect 35% stake in Telkomsel through its 56% interest in SingTel, was found to have violated anti-trust laws by using indirect stakes in Telkomsel and Satelindo to ‘fix’ mobile call fees in the country. The Singaporean holding company intends to fight the ruling. ‘Temasek cannot and does not control Telkomsel and Indosat. We do not own any shares in either of these companies, much less majority shares,’ Temasek Managing Director Goh Yong Siang told the paper.