Turkcell: Slim chance for Kuwait tender

CEO of Turkey's largest mobile firm says chances of winning telco tender in Kuwait are not high.

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By  Reuters Published  September 27, 2007

The CEO of Turkey's leading mobile phone company, Turkcell, said on Thursday the firm's chances of winning a telecoms tender in Kuwait were not very high.

Kuwait has invited companies to submit bids for a 26% stake in the country's third mobile phone firm by November 18. Foreign telecoms firms and listed local companies operating in other sectors are allowed to bid for the minority stake.

"The Kuwaiti market is not very big and it is saturated. So in the Kuwaiti auction I think our chances are not very high," CEO Sureyya Ciliv told reporters.

Kuwait has a population of 3 million and the new operator - in which the government plans to list 50% and hold the rest - will compete with two other players.

Turkcell, which is already present in Ukraine, has said it wants to expand in eastern Europe, the Middle East and central Asia. But it has been outbid in a number of potential acquisitions recently, including in Saudi Arabia and Bulgaria.

Earlier this year it said it had closed a $3 billion loan facility after finding no purchases for which to use it.

Its stock rose 1.0% in the first session, outperforming the wider market before closing for lunch.

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