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Etisalat upbeat about Libyan licence

Etisalat hopes to secure Libyan mobile licence by the end of the year as it also eyes entry into Morocco and Lebanon.

Etisalat upbeat about Libyan licence
Etisalat plans to expand its influence in North Africa through its bid for Libya's third GSM licence.

Etisalat, the UAE's incumbent operator, is forging ahead with plans to invest in North Africa and the Levant, according to a report from Reuters.

The UAE incumbent said it expects to gain Libya's third GSM licence by the end of the month and is also interested a majority stake in one of Lebanon's mobile operators, Jamal al Jarwan, Etisalat's head of international investments, told reporters gathered at a MEED conference in Abu Dhabi earlier this week.

Al Jarwan added that Etisalat viewed its bid for the Libyan licence as the strongest, and that the Libyan authorities would make their decision by the end of the year, Reuters reported.

Etisalat plans to look at potential acquisitions as the global economic crisis continues to depress the prices of targets, al Jarwan added.

Etisalat, which already has 10 million subscribers in Egypt through its subsidiary Etisalat Misr, is also believed to be interested in the Moroccan market.

The UAE incumbent is also present in Nigeria, where it launched GSM services in 2008, and Sudan, where is owns a majority stake in fixed line operator Canartel.

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