Cable & Wireless Communications in talks to sell Macau group stake

LONDON Wed Oct 17, 2012 3:02am EDT

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LONDON (Reuters) - Cable & Wireless Communications (CWC) (CWC.L) is in talks to sell its controlling stake in Macau's largest telecoms group as it seeks to exit its operations outside the Caribbean and Central America.

The company is in talks to sell the CTM stake to fellow investor Citic Telecom International (1883.HK), it confirmed on Wednesday, after a report in the Financial Times that said the asset could fetch up to $650 million.

British-listed CWC owns a 51 percent stake in CTM, Macau's only fixed line provider and leading mobile phone group. Citic, which is part of a Chinese state-owned conglomerate, owns 20 percent, CWC said on Wednesday.

CWC is also in talks to sell its assets in Monaco and a host of island nations including the Maldives and the Seychelles to Bahrain Telecommunications Co BTEL.BH, sources told Reuters last month.

Macau would be attractive for Citic due to the former Portuguese enclave's fast-growing sales of Apple's (AAPL.O) iPhone and demand from tourists attracted to its booming casino industry, the FT said.

(Reporting by Stephen Mangan and Paul Sandle; Editing by Chris Gallagher and Rosalba O'Brien)

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