According to the Financial Times, SingTel is close to securing a 30% stake in Pakistani cellco Warid Telecom, in a deal that would value the country’s third-largest mobile operator at USD1 billion. Citing unidentified people familiar with the situation, the FT said SingTel had emerged as a strong favourite to buy the stake, ahead of MTN and Vodafone. ‘A deal between SingTel and Warid could be signed as early as next month,’ the newspaper quoted one of its sources as saying.
Warid is owned by the private Abu Dhabi Group, which is one of the largest foreign investor groups in Pakistan and owns Bank Alfalah and Wateen Telecom. Warid owns wireless and broadband operations in Bangladesh and Uganda.