Following claims earlier this month that China Mobile Communications Corporation had discussed the possibility of acquiring a minority stake in Malaysia-based telecoms group Axiata, the latter has denied such rumours. Axiata’s chief executive officer Datuk Seri Jamaludin Ibrahim was cited by local news source the Daily Express as saying: ‘No one has approached us… We don’t need any cash or any kind of investment at Axiata level.’ As previously reported by CommsUpdate, unnamed sources claimed in early August that China Mobile had sounded out Axiata over the possibility of buying a 20% stake in it, which would have been valued at around USD3.7 billion, based on the closing price of the Malaysian firm’s shares at that time.
As well as clearing up the speculation regarding a possible stake sale in the group itself, Jamaludin also confirmed that there are currently no plans to divest its Pakistani unit Multinet, despite the fibre-optic-centred subsidiary not operating in the group’s core business area. ‘The third-generation mobile network is going to explode in Pakistan and there is strong demand for fibre-optic networks … Fibre is now a very important part of our business and it could spell other opportunities for us in Pakistan,’ the executive said. Despite this, the report did note that a decision regarding the unit’s future is expected to be made in the first quarter of next year.