Etisalat refutes claims of exit in international operations

Etisalat refutes claims of exit in international operations

Etisalat’s chief executive said yesterday the company has no plans to sell off any of its international subsidiaries completely.

The Gulf-based company operates in approximately 17 countries in Africa, Asia and the Middle East, and it did divest a 9.1% stake in Indonesian firm PT XL Axiata just last month for $510 million, but retained a 4.2% stake.

At a conference in Dubai, chief executive Ahmad Julfar said: “We are not going to exit any markets. We are very happy with our international operations, even Africa.”

Market watchers have commented that Etisalat’s sale in Indonesia, coupled with its exit in India, was an indication that the company was looking to sell assets in non-core markets.

It has a significant presence in numerous African countries, including a 66% stake in Egyptian company Etisalat Misr, a 40% stake in Etisalat Nigeria and a 65% holding in Tanzania’s Zantel.

Rival operator du ended Etisalat’s domestic monopoly in 2007, and both operators are still majority-owned by the government.

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