The report points out that many emerging markets that have not yet privatised their incumbent operators are planning to do so in order to improve efficiency, productivity and service quality and to further develop their networks.

The report documents that some $83bn was raised through privatisations of incumbent public telecommunication operators in developing countries during 1990-2006. By the middle of 2007, 123 (out of 191) ITU member countries had a private or privatised national fixed-line incumbent.

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As of mid-2007, Africa, with 26 state-owned telecom incumbents, had the lowest share of privately owned operators of all regions. Nevertheless, governments in that region remain interested in privatisation, as exemplified by the recent sale of a 51% stake in Kenya’s state-owned Telkom Kenya.

Several emerging markets across all regions are also proceeding with telecom privatisation. In eastern Europe, Ukraine is planning to privatise Ukrtelecom and Russia is expected to further privatise Svyazinvest, a state-owned company that runs regional phone networks and also has wireless and pay-TV holdings. In central Asia, Kyrgyzstan has approved a proposal to sell a 77.8% stake in Kyrgyztelecom.

In east Asia, the Philippines is offering a 10.2% stake in Eastern Telecommunications Philippines, the country’s oldest telephone company.

 

Europe and Central Asia

• Georgia has announced the bidding for a concession for Georgian Railway with a bid submission deadline of January 25, 2008.

• Montenegro has announced the sale of two tourism and leisure property development companies.

• Serbia is in the process of planning the privatisation of Naftna Industrija Srbije (NIS), the state-owned oil company, which will entail the sale of its property after the adoption of a new law over the course of 2008. Regional investors, as well as Gazprom, have expressed interest in the company.

• Uzbekistan has issued its privatisation programme for the next three years, aimed at attracting foreign investment. It has recently extended the deadline for bid submissions for Uzbekcoal, Jizzahplastmassa, a chemical/plastics company, and Sarbon-Neftegaz, a transport company.

Middle East and North Africa

• Lebanon has announced the privatisation of its mobile telephone network through a public auction to be held on February 21, 2008.

• Egypt has been privatising its banking sector over the past two years, with about half of it now in the hands of the private sector, reports the International Monetary Fund.

East and South-East Asia

• Indonesia’s state-owned insurance company PT Asuransi Jasa and savings bank BTN are ready to be privatised through initial public offerings next year. Five more state enterprises are to be privatised in the same manner in 2008.

South Asia

• Pakistan, which has targeted $3.5bn in privatisation proceeds for the fiscal year 2007-08, has announced the sale of Pakistan Machine Tool Factory.

This privatisation news is provided by the FDI.net Privatization Alert (www.fdi.net/privatizationalert). FDI.net is a web portal from the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency, a member of the World Bank Group, that offers free, on-demand country analysis and information on issues related to foreign direct investment in 175 countries.