SingTel denies it is looking to sell Telkomsel stake

7 Oct 2011

Singapore Telecommunications (SingTel) has reacted swiftly to rebut the suggestion it is looking to sell its 35% stake in Indonesia’s leading mobile operator by subscribers, Telekomunikasi Selular (Telkomsel) to joint venture partner Telekomunikasi Indonesia (Telkom), which owns the other 65%. As reported in yesterday’s CommsUpdate, Telkom CFO Sudiro Asno claimed that informal talks had taken place between the government, Telkom and SingTel regarding this matter, and that SingTel had indicated its willingness to sell. Telkom’s plan to buy back the stake – initiated by the government and approved by shareholders in Telkom’s AGM in May – is a reaction to Telkom’s struggle to maintain profits in a mobile market that is experiencing intense competition. However, in an emailed statement to Reuters, the Singapore firm said: ‘SingTel has a good partnership with both Telkom and Telkomsel and we continue to be a long term strategic investor in Indonesia. There were no discussions with respect to any sale of our stake in Telkomsel, formal or informal.’