Indian telecoms giant Bharti Airtel is negotiating with Malaysia’s Axiata on proposals to merge the two group’s respective Bangladeshi mobile subsidiaries, Airtel Bangladesh and Robi Axiata, writes India’s Economic Times, noting that the potential merger would boost the enlarged cellco to take second market place from Banglalink. However, a joint statement from the two groups said: ‘There is no certainty that this discussion will lead into the execution of binding definitive agreements between the parties … This announcement is to facilitate the ongoing discussions and exchanges of information between the parties, including but not limited to discussions with the relevant regulatory authorities.’ The newspaper also quoted an Airtel spokesperson as saying: ‘We remain committed to Bangladesh,’ referencing recent reports that the Indian group was considering pulling out of the market altogether. The negotiations with Axiata come as part of Bharti’s initiative to restructure operations in all countries where it has a relatively low market share.
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