Indosat’s chief executive has said the country’s number three mobile player is not in talks to acquire Hutchison 3 Indonesia.

A media report earlier in the week claimed that Indosat was interested in acquiring its smaller rival — a deal that would create a new number two in one of Asia’s largest mobile markets.

The Jakarta Post quoted Indosat’s Alexander Rusli as saying: “I can confirm 100 per cent that there has never been such a discussion. I don’t know where the gossip started from.”

Indosat is 65 per cent owned by Qatar’s Ooredoo and has an 18 per cent market share, while 3 Indonesia has a 12 per cent share of the country’s 308 million mobile connections, according to GSMA Intelligence. Telkomsel is number one with a 46 per cent share, following by XL Axiata with a 20 per cent share.