According to a report in The Moscow Times, Belarusian telecoms regulator the State Commission on Radio Frequencies is preparing to auction off the government’s 51% stake in MTS Belarus, its mobile joint venture with Russian giant Mobile TeleSystems (MTS). The auction is scheduled to take place before the end of this year, and has a starting price of USD1 billion. Although the final date of the auction has yet to be decided, a series of presentations will take place in late-October/early-November, a spokesman said. The Russian parent, which holds the remaining 49%, has reiterated its desire to secure 100% control of the Belarusian cellular business which had over five million subscribers as at 1 July 2012.
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