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Sat 12 Jun 2010 02:59 PM

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Etisalat to invest $1.4bn in Egypt unit over 3 yrs

'Networks expansion is a priority for the company,' Etisalat chairman says.

Etisalat to invest $1.4bn in Egypt unit over 3 yrs

Abu Dhabi's Etisalat said on Saturday it planned to invest 8 billion Egyptian pounds ($1.41 billion) in its Egyptian unit over the next three years, as it eyes growth in the market.

"Our investment in the network has reached L.E. 8 billion till date, and we expect that we will invest L.E. 8 billion more in the coming three years as networks expansion is a priority for the company," Etisalat Chairman Mohammad Omran said in a statement.

The firm said the customer base for its Egyptian unit, Etisalat Misr, reached 14 million within three years of operation, starting May 2007.

"The company's achievements exceeded all expectations in terms of subscription rates and what was targeted in the bid conditions and feasibility studies in terms of network coverage," added Omran.

Etisalat is present in 18 markets abroad in Africa, the Middle East and Asia.

It has faced increased competition in its home market after its monopoly was broken in 2007 by Dubai-based du. The company is one of a number of Gulf Arab telecom operators that have expanded overseas after losing monopolies at home.

Separately, the firm is looking at a deal with Reliance Communications as it considers its options in India. (Reuters)

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