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Libyan telecom sector braced for competition

Country’s telecoms sector continues to move towards market liberalisation.

Libyan telecom sector braced for competition
Libya is in the process of selling stakes in its state-owned telcos and auctioning a third GSM licence.

The government of Libya may float up to 40% of its two mobile phone operators, Libyana and Al-Madar, on the stock market, after it completes the sale of two 5% stakes worth about $400 million in an IPO later this year, according to a report from Bloomberg.

The report, which cited Suliman Al Shahomy, head of the Libyan Stock Exchange, points towards a continued drive by the Libyan government to inject competition into the country's telecoms sector.

Libya announced plans to sell stakes in its state-owned mobile operators late last year, shortly after UAE incumbent Etisalat announced that it had made a bid for Libya's third mobile licence.

Etisalat, which is thought to have offered about $825 million for the licence, said it expected to find out by the end of 2009 whether it had won the licence, although there have so far been no updates from Etisalat or the Libyan authorities.

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