Preparations for the privatisation of Vietnam Mobile Telecom Services (more commonly known as MobiFone), the country’s second largest wireless operator by subscribers, are expected to begin this year, the Wall Street Journal reports. Earlier this month the government formally approved the separation of MobiFone from its state-owned parent Vietnam Posts and Telecommunications (VNPT). National PTO VNPT, which also owns the mobile market’s third largest player Vinaphone, has been ordered to restructure its operations to increase competition in the telecoms market. According to a government statement, MobiFone will be put under the Ministry of Information and Communications (MIC) before becoming a partly privatised company. An unnamed senior official at the VNPT told the Wall Street Journal that the mobile operator will both seek foreign strategic investors and prepare for an initial public offering (IPO) this year, with the state retaining a stake in the cellco.
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