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Indian telcos not serious about Zain bid.

Byline: New Delhi

Indian state telecoms Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) and Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd (MTNL) are not seriously considering to join a consortium that is seeking a stake in Kuwait's Zain, Junior Telecoms Minister Gurudas Kamath told parliament on Thursday.

'No Sir,' he said in a written reply to a lawmaker's question whether the companies were seriously considering joining the consortium, led by India's little-known Vavasi Group.

The lawmaker also wanted to know whether the proposal was subject to due diligence as required for large investments in foreign companies.

'The proposal is in preliminary stage only and has not reached the stage for initiating the process of due dilligence,' Kamat said.

Japanese bank Nomura has been named the adviser to the Vavasi consortium, the vice chairman of Zain's main shareholder, Kharafi Group, told Reuters on Tuesday. Kharafi Group has named BNP Paribas as its adviser in the sale, he said.

Kamat also said BSNL and MTNL had total cash and bank balances of about Rs415 billion ($9 billion) as of end-September.- Reuters

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Publication:TradeArabia (Manama, Bahrain)
Date:Nov 26, 2009
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