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Etisalat to bid for Morocco's Meditel stake

Telecoms giant seeks buyouts in the MidEast & Africa after asset prices decline.

Emirates Telecommunications Corp (Etisalat) said it would bid for a stake in Morocco's Meditel as it seeks acquisitions in the Middle East and Africa after asset prices declined.

Portugal Telecom has appointed Morgan Stanely to sell its 32 percent stake in Meditel, Moroccos' second-largest telecoms company, people familiar with the matter said earlier this month.

"We are expecting Morocco ... We are participating in the bid for Morocco... Meditel and we are working hard for Syria and Lebanon," Mohammed Hassan Omran told Reuters in an interview on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Dead Sea, Jordan.

Etisalat still had its sights set on Iran after the country stripped a consortium including the UAE telecom firm from a licence it was awarded earlier this year.

"In Iran, we made the best bid. Our partner could not continue and that ended up disqualifying the consortium," Omran said.

"We are evaluating the possibilities. It is the big market and it has a lot of potential. But it is complex. The game is not over for us in Iran." (Reuters)