The Financial Times, citing Yangon-based diplomats, reports that an investigation has been launched into possible corruption relating to the government’s plan to liberalise the telecoms sector. The government hopes to issue two new telecoms licences, and the deadline for expressions of interest was originally 25 January, with the licences then expected to be awarded by June. The newspaper cites unnamed foreign telecoms executives as saying the probe, which has been confirmed by government officials, may delay the process into the second half of 2013, but that a telecoms ministry shake-out may make the tender process more transparent. According to the report, at least 18 companies have submitted proposals for the concessions. These include: Malaysia’s Axiata; Norway’s Telenor Group, parent of the Thai mobile operator DTAC; Digicel, the Caribbean based operator; and two Singaporean companies, SingTel, and ST Telemedia, a unit of Temasek Holdings.
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