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Qtel eyes expansion in Philippines

Qatari incumbent strengthens its interest in the Southeast Asian country

Qtel has acquired a “significant stake” in Philippines-based Liberty Telecom Holdings, a provider of wireless voice and data telecommunications services, according to a report from Qatari daily, The Peninsula.

The move follows an earlier deal in which Qtel acquired 27.12% of Liberty Telecom through its subsidiary wi-Tribe Asia, in May 2008, according to information submitted by Liberty Telecom to the Philippines Stock Exchange.

The development also comes just weeks after Qtel officials visited the Philippines to investigate investment opportunities. Delegates from Qtel met the Philippines’ president, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in December to review potential areas of cooperation for the extension of access to broadband internet technology in the country.

Following the meeting, Qtel signed a telecommunications memorandum of understanding with the San Miguel Corporation (SMC), one of the Philippines' leading business conglomerates, as part of the group’s ongoing plans for expansion and consolidation within Southeast Asia.

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