Qtel will be limited to 49% of Indosat

10 Jul 2008

Indonesia’s Communications Minister Muhammad Nuh says Qatar Telecom (Qtel) will only be allowed to buy a maximum 49% stake in the country’s second largest telecoms group PT Indosat. On 7 June Qtel completed the USD1.76 billion purchase of Indonesia Communications Limited (ICLM) and Indonesia Communications (ICLS), which held a combined 40.8% interest in Indosat, following which it offered to buy more shares at a price of IDR7,388 (USD0.80) per share, in a bid to lift its ownership to 65%. Bloomberg writes that the government’s cap limits the number of shares investors can sell at the 13.7% premium offered on yesterday’s closing price for Indosat shares. Based on this calculation, Qtel would have to spend USD358 million to increase its stake to 49%. The 49% cap for foreign ownership of a fixed line phone company was set in 2007, and a 65% limit was placed on foreign ownership of a mobile operator.

Indonesia, Indosat Ooredoo Hutchison (IOH), Ooredoo Qatar