Etisalat Plans $1b Investments in India

ABU DHABI - The Emirates Telecommunication Corporation, or Etisalat, plans to invest $1 billion in the burgeoning Indian market where it has a minority stake in Swan Telecom.

By Staff Report

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Published: Wed 25 Mar 2009, 12:59 AM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 7:45 AM

The telecom operator’s commercial launch in India is planned for 2009, Etisalat Chairman, Mohammed Hasan Omran told Khaleej Times, after chairing the company’s annual general meeting on Monday evening.

He said the investment would complement Etisalat’s other regional investments in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Indonesia — which represent one of the fastest-growing markets in the telecommunication world.

The chairman said Etisalat views this turbulent time as an opportunity in various spheres and that the company would continue to enhance and consolidate its global footprint over 2008. The chairman said that he was confident that the corporation has enough resources to meet its financial obligations for its acquisitions planned for this year. Etisalat’s shareholders earlier approved a 35 per cent dividend for the second half of 2008, raising the total cash payout to 60 per cent for the full year. In the first half the corporation had distributed 25 per cent interim dividend. The shareholders at the annual general meeting also approved 20 per cent bonus shares, increasing the capital to Dh7.1 billion.

In his report to shareholders, Omran said that the telecom giant maintained its financial and operational growth trajectory in 2008. “We registered 22 per cent growth in revenue and 19 per cent in profits against last year... The aggregate subscribers crossed 80 million mark in 17 countries”, he said.

On a compounded annual growth rate, Etisalat’s revenue and net profit have both grown by 26 per cent over the last four years, he said.

The chairman said that corporation has a balanced portfolio with investments in West Asia, South Asia, and Africa, with a common denominator of high growth potential. The chairman denied any knowledge of figures reported in a local newspaper that claimed Etisalat showed a 14 per cent increase in its revenues during the first two months of the financial year, despite the economic meltdown period.


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