Around ten telecoms companies and financial organisations have expressed interest in the upcoming privatisation of Ukraine’s national PSTN operator Ukrtelecom, reports the Kyiv Post quoting the head of the State Property Fund (SPF), Dmytro Parfenenko, who indicated that the number of interested parties is expected to increase. He added that an appraisal of the companies involved was currently underway, but that no decision had been reached regarding the commencement of the privatisation. At the start of February the SPF announced that a 62.79% stake in Ukrtelecom would be put up for sale in March. Parfenenko earlier identified four potential suitors: Bank of New York, UBS, Alfa Capital and Nomura. Turkish mobile operator Turkcell and Russia’s Mobile TeleSystems (MTS) are also known to be interested in the privatisation, and reportedly, so are Deutsche Telekom and Russian long-distance operator Rostelecom (backed by state telecoms holding group Svyazinvest). The privatisation of Ukraine’s national incumbent has been mooted since the late 1990s, but the government still retains 92.79% of the company’s shares. The telco is also the country’s sole provider of UMTS-based 3G mobile services, which it offers under the Utel brand.