MTN, which has mobile operations in 22 countries across Africa and the Middle East, may spend as much as $8 billion on acquisitions.

According to a report by Bloomberg and local media, the Johannesburg-based group is looking at targets in Southeast Asia, as well as Africa and the Middle East.

Suitable acquistions, say the reports, will be worth at least $4 billion.

“Growth through M&A is still an important part of our strategy,” said Sifiso Dabengwa, MTN Group chief executive, according to Business Daily Live, a South African publication.

MTN is one of the companies vying for a mobile operator licence in Myanamar, a market with relatively low mobile-phone penetration and a growing economy.

Dabengwa has also expressed an interest in expanding to North Africa in order to diversify revenues.