Batelco still looking at Indian investment

30 April 2012 | Kavit Majithia


Bahraini telecoms company Batelco has said it may re-enter the Indians telecoms market by investing in an existing operating company.

The company has confirmed it will not participate in India’s upcoming bandwidth auctions, but is looking to re-enter the country after exiting in February this year.

Group chief executive, Shaikh Mohamed bin Isa Al Khalifa, told Dow Jones Newswire the company is keen to invest in “existing operators and not start-up companies”, but he did not specify if Batelco is in talks with any Indian telecoms operators.

Batelco, Bahrain’s largest telecoms operator, said last week its decision to exit India by selling a 42.7% stake in local telecoms company S Tel led to a 40% reduction in its overall overseas business.

Its exit came after India’s Supreme Court scrapped six licences issued to S Tel in 2008, as part of a ruling that cancelled 122 telecoms licences, stating the process was flawed and the issued permits were illegal.

Indian regulation has since ruled it will hold auctions to reallocate bandwidth at the end of August.