Higher Council for Privatisation sells mobile phone licences

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By  Published  November 30, 2006

Lebanon\'s Higher Council for Privatisation (HCP) plans to sell two mobile phone licences by mid-2007 and form a fixed line operator by the end of the year, it has been reported. \"HCP has mandated two investment banks, JP Morgan and Citibank to work on selling the two mobile licences during the first half of 2007,\" Ziad Hayek, secretary general of Lebanon\'s HCP, is reported to have said. The Lebanese government had promised to privatise the two government-owned networks which are currently being operated through management contracts by Kuwait\'s MTC, and Germany\'s Detecon in the third quarter. It expects to fetch between US$2 billion and US$3 billion for each licence. For the landline operator, HCP has approved the appointment of Booz Allen Hamilton as a consultant and advisor to help in the formation of Liban Telecom, currently a non-existent entity. \"By the autumn of 2007, we will have formed Liban Telecom. By the end of 2008, Liban Telecom might see privatisation taking place,\" Hayek said. The level of interest in the licences on offer is unlikely to be accurately gauged at this point.

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