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Tunisiana to list shares in H1

Tunis, January 6, 2011

Tunisian mobile operator Tunisiana plans to list its shares on the Tunis stock exchange in the first half of 2011, the chairman of key shareholder Qatar Telecom (Qtel) said.

'We are trying to speed up the process to allow the listing to take place in the first half of 2011,' Sheikh Abdallah Al-Thani told reporters in Tunis.

Founded in 2002, Tunisiana is the only private telecommunications company in the country of 10 million and competes with state-controlled Tunisie Telecom.

Al-Thani also said Qtel's future expansion strategy is focusing on the Middle East and North Africa region. 'There are (expansion) opportunities in this region ... Our (Qtel's) goal is to become among the world's top 20 telecom firms by 2020,' he told Reuters.

Qtel has expanded rapidly abroad to mitigate the loss of its monopoly after Vodafone Qatar, a unit of Britain's Vodafone, entered the Qatari market.

Orascom Telecom has sold its 50 percent stake in Tunisiana to a consortium that includes Qtel's Kuwaiti unit Wataniya, which already owns 50 percent of Tunisiana, for $1.2 billion.

Of the 50 percent stake, 75 percent is expected to go to Wataniya and 25 percent to Princesse Holding, a Tunisian firm that has led the consortium.

Kuwait's National Mobile Telecoms Co (Wataniya) is 52.5-percent owned by Qtel. - Reuters

Tags: Qatar | Qtel | Mobile operator | Tunisiana |

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