Pakistan Telecommunication Co (PTCL) played down local media reports of an imminent move to acquire Telenor Pakistan, rumours apparently fuelled by its board approving exploration of investment opportunities in the local telecoms sector.

In a letter to the Pakistan Stock Exchange today (1 September), state-owned PTCL confirmed board clearance to make an offer to acquire the shares of a target company, but explained it is too early to offer any concrete details.

PCTL stated any talk of a tie-up “with any other telecoms company is not only premature, but also speculative as no decision has been taken”.

It added any decision on the acquisition would be subject to corporate and regulatory approvals, with PTCL required to inform the stock exchange.

The board approved the move earlier this week, after lining up financing from the State Bank of Pakistan.

PCTL made a non-binding offer to Telenor in late January: The News reported the latter also recently received a bid of between $500 million and $700 million from a unnamed Lebanese investor.

GSMA Intelligence data showed PCTL operator ended June with 24.5 million mobile connections and Telenor 46.6 million.