International investors, including Nordic operator group Telenor, are reported to be interested in the Vietnamese government’s plan to launch an IPO for state-owned mobile operator MobiFone.
According to VietNamNet Bridge, Telenor is considering taking a controlling stake in the second largest operator in Vietnam in order to launch its own services in the market.
Another interested party is Comvik International Vietnam, which previously partnered with MobiFone.
Executives from both companies are believed to have informed the Ministry of Information and Communication of their interest.
A plan to conduct an IPO for MobiFone in 2006 was ditched but not before it had attracted interest from the likes of SingTel, Deutsche Telekom, France Telecom (now Orange) and Vodafone Group. Orange remains interested, the reported suggested.
A director at MobiFone said negotiations are already taking place with prospective foreign partners, with criteria including financial capacity, technology, expertise and governance experience.
MobiFone separated from VNPT, another state-owned operator, in June, and was required to submit an IPO plan by the end of the year. It was recently valued at around $3.4 billion by Ho Chi Minh City Securities Corporation.
At the end of the third quarter, Mobifone had 40.7 million connections, according to GSMA Intelligence. Market leader Viettel Telecom had 56.2 million connections, with third-placed Vinaphone on 21.4 million.