True or false: Thai group entering Myanmar via Teleport

27 Feb 2014

Thailand’s True Corp is involved in talks with state-backed internet service provider (ISP) Yatanarpon Teleport (YTP) regarding a potential partnership to launch mobile services in Myanmar, Reuters reports. The new joint venture is expected to be split 51/49 between YTP and True Corp and will require total investment of approximately USD1.6 billion. The duo expects to hammer out the details and sign the final agreement by early March, when it will apply for an operating licence. CFO of the Thai group, Noppadol Dej-Udom, commented on the talks, noting: ‘We are in the process of negotiating with YTP. If successful, we need to seek approval from True Corp’s board and then we will inform the Stock Exchange of Thailand.’ YTP’s vice-chairman Yan Win meanwhile explained that the current ownership structure of YTP may prove an obstacle to the project: ‘At present MPT [Myanmar Post and Telecommunications] owns 51% of YTP’s shares … [but] the Telecommunication Law does not allow an operator to own more than 10% of shares in another company working as an operator. So the MPT will have to plan to cut down its shares.’ According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, MPT has begun looking for a partner and has invited international telecoms groups to bid for a stake in the telco. Singapore Telecom, Orange Group and Vodafone Group have all been linked to offers, but MPT is yet to finalise a deal.