Viettel Group rumoured to be interested in Indonesian acquisition

7 Jan 2019

Vietnam’s Viettel Group is reportedly interested in a move into the Indonesian market and although no names or targets have been confirmed, speculation is mounting that one of the candidates could be Indosat Ooredoo. President and CEO of Viettel Le Dang Dung is quoted by Reuters as saying that the company, which is wholly owned by the Vietnamese government via the Ministry of Defence, is involved in ‘a serious conversation with telecommunications companies in Malaysia and Indonesia’ pursuant to a possible acquisition, while, elsewhere, it is also mulling the possibility of investing in North Korea and Cuba, and possibly even somewhere in Europe.

Industry watchers point out that the Indonesian mobile market is ripe for mergers, after XL Axiata completed the takeover of Axis Indonesia a few years ago. With the government seemingly keen to relax rules that would maybe make investment even more favourable – via amendments to the country’s Negative Investment (DNI) List – Indosat Ooredoo, whose share price has been dropping of late on the local stock exchange, could be a target, prompting speculation over whether Viettel is or has been involved in discussions with its main shareholder, Qatar’s Ooredoo Group.

Indonesia, Indosat Ooredoo (incl. IM2), Viettel Group