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Ooredoo heading for Myanmar exit – report

Qatar's Ooredoo Group, according to unnamed sources cited by Reuters, is in talks to sell its operating business in Myanmar.

Ooredoo has already informed the country's Posts and Telecommunications Department of its intention to up sticks and has apparently already attracted some Myanmar-based suitors.

Ooredoo is the last majority foreign-owned operator standing in Myanmar after the military coup last year.
 (Source: Sueddeutsche Zeitung Photo/Alamy Stock Photo)
Ooredoo is the last majority foreign-owned operator standing in Myanmar after the military coup last year.
(Source: Sueddeutsche Zeitung Photo/Alamy Stock Photo)

Myanmar conglomerate Young Investment Group is said to be in the frame, along with Skynet, which is owned by Myanmar group Shwe Than Lwin. The Reuters report references Singapore-headquartered network infrastructure operator Campana Group as another potential buyer.

People "familiar with the matter," according to Reuters, said that talks with the three suitors had not yet reached final stages.

As stated in the group's Q1 FY22 results. Ooredoo Myanmar "continued to face challenges." In January, the regulator issued a directive to increase tax on data services from 5% to 15%, and a new SIM tax of 20,000 Burmese Kyat (US$11). This resulted in a "significant decrease in customer acquisition for the quarter."

Additionally, the Myanmar Ministry of Transport and Communications (MoTC) ordered internet services to be shut down in parts of Sagaing region.

Ooredoo Myanmar delivered Q1 revenues of 272 million Qatari riyal, a year-on-year increase of 8%. It represents a tiny fraction of group revenue, which stood at QAR5.5 billion for the same quarter.

On the heels of Telenor

Ooredoo is the last majority foreign-owned operator standing in Myanmar after the military coup last year. Norway's Telenor withdrew from Myanmar in March, selling its operations to the Lebanon-based M1 Group for $105 million.


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A key condition for the sale was that M1 Group should have a local partner. M1 told Telenor that its local partner Shwe Byain Phyu had acquired 49% of Investcom, the Singapore-based company set up by M1 for the purchase of Telenor Myanmar. A further 31% stake was to be transferred to Shwe Byain Phyu at closing.

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— Ken Wieland, contributing editor, special to Light Reading

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