Luxembourg-based mobile group Millicom International Cellular (MIC) is on the verge of pulling out of the Pakistan cellular market, according to the Pakistan Times. MIC has reportedly agreed to sell its entire 98.9% holding in GSM operator Paktel and its 61.3% stake in AMPS/TDMA provider Pakcom to local investors, and is in talks to sell off the brand names of both companies. Pakcom and Paktel are the smallest of the country’s six mobile operators with a combined market share of less than 9% at the end of September 2005. ‘It may take a month or less but it is almost definite that Millicom operations (in Pakistan) are heading towards an end, and it is likely to allow either a local telecom group or a Chinese company to take over Pakcom and Paktel,’ a source close to the talks told the newspaper. The source said declining profits worldwide and increasing competition were pushing MIC to sell off its operations in non-core markets. MIC has declined to comment.
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