Telenor sale of Myanmar biz stalls as junta seeks local buyer participation

The decision of Telenor to sell its telecom business in Myanmar to Lebanese firm M1 has stalled after the junta indicated it favoured at least part-ownership by a local company, Reuters reported.
Telenor Myanmar businessTelenor announced in July it was selling its Myanmar operations to M1 for $105 million, retreating from a country that has slid into chaos after a military coup.

The exit of Telenor has been mired in difficulties after the junta piled pressure on telecom and internet firms to install surveillance technology and barred senior executives from leaving the country.

M1, an investment firm owned by the family of Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati, is in talks about a partnership with at least one Myanmar company – Shwe Byain Phyu Group which has interests in oil and gem mining.

Telenor said in a statement to Reuters it was waiting for a formal response from Myanmar authorities to its request to sell its unit to M1.

Telenor is one of four telecom operators in Myanmar, alongside Qatar’s Ooredoo, state-backed MPT and Mytel, which is part-owned by a military-linked company.