Telenor given green signal to up stake in Unitech (Lead)

October 19th, 2009 - 6:41 pm ICT by IANS  

State Bank of India New Delhi, Oct 19 (IANS) The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) Monday approved Norwegian telecom major Telenor’s proposal to increase its stake in Unitech Wireless (Tamil Nadu) Ltd to 74 percent.
“This is subject to the conditions recommended by FIPB (Foreign Investment Promotion Board). The approval would result in FDI amounting to Rs.3,740 crore in the country,” Commerce Minister Anand Sharma told reporters here.

Unitech Wireless is a joint venture between India’s Unitech Group and Telenor. The Norwegian firm has invested in the joint venture through its Singapore-based subsidiary Telenor Asia.

At present, Telenor has 67.25 percent stake in Unitech Wireless, a subsidiary of real estate major Unitech.

The government had in August deferred taking a decision on the proposal by Unitech Wireless to raise its foreign shareholding up to 74 percent.

FIPB deferred the decision following reservations of security agencies on the Norwegian firm’s strong presence in Pakistan and Bangladesh.

Unitech had in the same month secured a loan of Rs.5,000 crore (about $1 billion) from state-run premier bank, State Bank of India to fund its mobile network rollout.

Unitech also plans to roll out its services by December and has partnered with companies such as Wireless-TT Info Service Ltd, Quippo Telecom Infrastructure, Alcatel-Lucent, Wipro and Huawei Technologies India for infrastructure and managed services.

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