Mobtel angered by criticism

4 May 2005

The Serb cellular operator Mobtel has reacted strongly to a report into its ownership structure and criticism of majority shareholder BK Trade. The report from Serbia’s Anti-Corruption Council suggested that the Serb government should re-evaluate an earlier assessment which found that it was entitled to a 58% stake in the mobile operator; the state initially took a 49% interest in Mobtel when it was set up in 1994 but has since made investments in the company which it says were not matched by BK Trade. According to Telecompaper, Mobtel has now filed a lawsuit against the council’s president, Verica Barac, who has claimed in a radio interview that corruption is draining the company’s profits. BK Trade says it is currently in negotiations to sell its stake to Russia’s Alfa Group, although the government says it has not been sent details of the deal.

Serbia, Telenor Serbia,

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