Speculation is mounting that Hungary’s dominant telecoms operator Magyar Telekom could soon be sold to a Russian company, according to Hungarian online news portal portfolio.hu citing a report in local business weekly HVG. The paper says that ongoing German-Russian political bargaining could result in Russia’s Sistema acquiring Maygar Telekom from its German parent Deutsche Telekom (DT). Although the Hungarian PTO has been linked with a possible Russian buyout before, local industry watchers are surprised that HVG is suggesting a deal could now be finalised by the time of Russian presidential elections in 2008. Magyar Telekom has denied it has met with officials from Sistema in Budapest, but rumours of a deal persist, with some now suggesting the Russian telco will ‘not pay the market price’ for the firm, if its sale is agreed.
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