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Telecom sector monthly update

Telecom statistics recently released by the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) show cellular teledensity inching up to 59.6% in Dec’09 while total Fixed Teledensity (Fixed Line Density and WLL Density) remaining unchanged at 3.9% during the review period. The cellular subscriber base has posted net additions of ~870k (0.9%MoM growth) in Dec ’09 to reach 97.6mn subscribers. During Dec ’09, Mobilink reported a 1.05%MoM increase in its overall subscriber base, whereas Telenor, Ufone, China Mobile and Warid reported MoM net additions of 0.99%, 0.81%, 0.74% and 0.69% to their respective cellular bases. On the M&A front, the Dhabi Group has reportedly admitted its intent of offloading majority stake with management control of Warid operations in Pakistan. Interestingly, along with Telenor, PTCL has stepped in as another potential acquirer of Warid Telecom. Within the sector, we continue to like PTCL which offers exposure to landline, WLL and the cellular market (Ufone).

AKD Research
February 4 2010

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