Nepal Telecom gets approval for stake sale

04 October 2013 |

The government of Nepal has agreed, in principal, to allow state-owned Nepal Telecom (NT) to bring in a strategic partner, according to local reports.

A committee has been created, consisting of two senior finance ministry officials and four senior officials at NT, to formulate a strategy for the 30% sale of NT’s shares to a suitable applicant.

“The cabinet has now given the go-ahead to take the process further,” Janma Jaya Regmi, chief of the public enterprise co-ordination division at the Finance Ministry in Nepal, said.

The government holds a 92% stake in NT and the announcement follows four years of persuasion from the company.

According to local reports, one of the main reasons NT has been pushing for a partner is to avoid the obstacles created by the Public Procurement Act (PPA).

“In order to attract partners, the government must simplify the procurement process of NT,” said Anoop Ranjan Bhattarai, the company’s deputy managing director.

“It will be difficult to make the company competitive by sticking to the PPA.”

The government is said to be preparing an expression of interest (EoI) to hire an international consultant to help NT find a partner. The company plans to find a suitable consultant by November this year.

The chosen consultant will generate documentation for potential partners and prepare a due diligence report for NT, as well as offer advice and support throughout the process.

Earlier this year, Nepal Telecom announced plans to roll-out WiMAX services to all customers.