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Belarus continues quest to find suitor for MTS stake


According to TeleGeography Belarus’ deputy prime minister Anatoly Kalinin reportedly told a press conference that the government is still in the hunt for an investor to buy its stake in mobile network operator MTS Belarus and that its policy ‘remains unchanged’.

Online news portal BelTA quotes the minister as saying that despite external pressure to do so, it has not revised its asking price for the 51% stake on offer, and is still interested in attracting potential bidders. MTS of Russia owns the remaining 49% and has long argued that the USD1 billion valuation is inflated. To bear this out, the state has spent over a year now trying – unsuccessfully – to offload its 51% stake. It is thought that along with MTS, Turkish mobile network operator Turkcell and an Iranian investment vehicle are interested in the stake. Despite two pre-sale presentations designed to drum up interest, the date of the auction has yet to be finalised.

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