BSNL still keen on Zain

25 Sep 2009

Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) is still considering a proposal to purchase a 46% stake in Kuwait-based Zain Group, along with sister company Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd (MTNL), Indian daily The Telegraph reports. Kuldeep Goyal, chairman and managing director of BSNL, said: ‘We are not averse to picking up a stake in Zain Telecom. There was a proposal [to buy a stake in Zain] on which we have not taken a decision.’ As reported by CommsUpdate on 9 September, the Al-Kharafi group, which holds an indirect 10.8% stake in Zain, announced that an agreement has been reached to sell a 46% stake in Zain to a consortium of Indian and Malaysian investors, including BSNL, MTNL and Vavasi Telegence. Citing a BSNL executive, The Telegraph reports that the company is open to mergers, acquisitions, strategic partnerships and licence tenders to start operations overseas. However, BSNL would only partner MTNL and not a private player.