Turkcell plans Kuwait, Iraq mobile tenders

Turkish mobile firm to apply for prequalification to buy Kuwait stake, could bid for Iraq licence.

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By  Reuters Published  August 7, 2007

Leading Turkish mobile phone company Turkcell said on Tuesday it would apply to take part in pre-qualification for a tender to buy a 26 % stake in Kuwait's third mobile phone company.

In a statement to the Istanbul Stock Exchange, the company also said it had decided to consider taking part in tenders for three mobile phone licences in Iraq.

Kuwait said on July 9 it was inviting companies to express interest in a 26 % stake in the Gulf Arab country's third mobile phone company.

"Our company has decided...to take part in pre-qualification for the public tender which will be opened for the sale of the 26 % stake," Turkcell said.

A committee in Kuwait was to pre-qualify companies for the next round of a public auction process, with potential investors required to give a minimum bidding price for the stake.

Mobile Telecommunications Co. (MTC), the Gulf's second-largest telecom firm by market value, and National Mobile Telecommunications Co. operate networks in Kuwait, a country of 3 million people.

Kuwait will offer 50 % of the third operator to the public and retain the other 24 %.

Turkcell already holds interests in GSM operations in Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Moldova and Georgia.

Turkcell's major shareholders are Turkey's Cukurova, Swedish-Finnish telecoms firm TeliaSonera and Russian private equity firm Altimo.

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