Lebanon to decide by year-end on sale of mobile phone companies


Lebanon will decide by the end of the year how to sell two mobile phone operators, which previous governments had hoped would raise as much as $7 billion.

“It’s complicated,” Minister of Telecommunications Charbel Nahas said in an interview at his office in Beirut. “We will decide the pattern or forms of private investment in the telecommunications industry by the end of the year.”

Plans to sell the mobile phone companies were put on hold because of an 18-month political crisis that eased in May 2008 and later by the global credit crisis and parliamentary elections in June of last year. Lebanon’s public debt reached $50.5 billion at the end of November, or 153 percent of gross domestic product.

“The process of bringing in investors has different techniques and it can be an IPO or a mix that includes a strategic partner,” Nahas said. businessweek.