Etisalat has declared that it has a USD3 billion acquisition fund and is looking to take advantage of the economic climate by acquiring telecoms companies at lower prices. ‘We are watching what’s happening in the markets. We are not holding back but waiting to see what will happen. We believe there will be a lot of opportunities in 2009,’ Etisalat COO, Ahmad Julfar told Reuters. The telco has already invested USD11 billion in establishing a presence in 16 countries outside of its home market of the United Arab Emirates: Afghanistan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Indonesia, India, Nigeria, Sudan, Benin, Gabon, Burkina Faso, Togo, the Central African Republic, Niger, Cote d’Ivoire and Tanzania.