Egypt’s incumbent telecoms operator, Telecom Egypt, has said it has no intention of selling its stake in Vodafone Egypt, in a bourse filing.
Telecom Egypt holds a 45 per cent stake in Vodafone Egypt and speculation has mounted over the past 12 months that the company could be looking to divest its interest.
Earlier reports had suggested that Saudi telecoms giant, STC, was interested in purchasing a stake but Telecom Egypt said that it had received no interest from any party over the acquisition of its stake.
According to the latest figures, Vodafone Egypt added a total of 230,000 new subscribers to its books late last year, boosting its total number to 40.2 million. This rise was in stark contrast to the overall trend in the country, which saw mobile subscriptions decline by around 100,000. The introduction of new minimum fees by the National Telecoms Regulatory Authority of around $3.16 per mobile line are believed to have played a part in the decline.
Vodafone Group, which holds a 55 per cent share in Vodafone Egypt has over 170 million customers in Africa. Last week, the company’s regional CEO for Africa, Middle East and Asia Pacific, Vivek Badrinath, told journalists that the Group had a “clear interest” in expanding its regional presence into neighbouring Ethiopia.
“We feel we can bring a lot, the payment abilities of Safaricom, the very deep ability to roll out networks in Africa that Vodacom has built up over the years, and Vodafone’s technology and experience in running businesses in the telecoms sector,” he told journalists from The Africa Report.