Saudi Telecom Company is exploring options for its indirect stake in billionaire T. Ananda Krishnan’s Maxis Bhd., the second-largest Malaysian wireless carrier by market value, as reported by Bloomberg.
STC is mulling over its interest in its 25 percent holding in Binariang GSM Sdn., which is the controlling shareholder of Maxis. It might consider selling the stake to a Malaysian pension fund or another financial investor.
“The market believes that the entrance of a new partner may be good for Maxis,” Danny Wong Teck Meng, chief executive officer at Areca Capital Sdn., said.
STC as well as other Middle Eastern operators including Ooredoo QSC and Emirates Telecommunications Group went on a spree of Asian acquisitions from 2005 to 2010, as evidenced by Bloomberg data.
It's also being rumoured that Ooredoo might also be now considering divesting its indirect holding in Singapore’s StarHub.
“Over the past few years these small stakes in foreign markets have not really been contributing to the bottom line,” Nishit Lakhotia, head of research at Securities & Investment Co., said. “It makes sense for them exit operations like Binariang where it doesn’t have management control to focus on other countries where it does have control and return the proceeds of any sale to investors, or put back into the business.”