State-owned national PTO Vietnam Posts and Telecommunications (VNPT) will retain a 20% stake in Vietnam Mobile Telecom Services (more commonly known as MobiFone), the country’s second largest mobile operator by subscribers, following its planned privatisation, VnExpress cites Minister Nguyen Bac Son as saying at a press conference. 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. Under the country’s telecoms legislation, an organisation or individual that owns more than 20% of the charter capital or shares in a telecoms enterprise may not hold more than 20% of another firm operating in the same market. Earlier this month, CommsUpdate reported that the government plans to approve the privatisation of MobiFone by the end of the year. The company will first be hived off from VNPT before MobiFone shares are then sold in an initial public offering (IPO) and it is renamed as Mobile Telecom Corporation. Hanoi is also encouraging VNPT to develop other existing businesses, such as multimedia services and information technology, in the face of increasing pressure from military-run mobile market leader Viettel.
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