DUBAI, April 7 Kuwait's No.1 telecom operator Zain
is keen on entering Libya's market, the former
monopoly's chairman said on Sunday.
Zain currently operates in about eight countries including Iraq,
Saudi Arabia and Sudan.
But it sold assets in about 15 African countries to India's
Bharti Airtel for $9 billion in 2010 and entering
Libya would mark a return to foreign expansion for the Kuwaiti
"We have a study for Libya, we are considering the Libya market
at the moment," Zain chairman Asaad Ahmed al-Banwan told
reporters outside the company's annual shareholder meeting on
Libya's telecom sector remains in state hands.
Government-controlled Libyan Post, Telecommunication and
Information Technology Co (LIPTIC) owns the country's two mobile
operators Al Madar and Libyana as well as Libya's main internet
provider, with the telecoms sector isolated from much foreign
competition during Muammar Gaddafi's 42-year rule.
Libya had planned to tender a management contract for LIPTIC,
which is seen as a prelude to privatisation by analysts, but
this tender has been put on hold, Ahmad Julfar, the chief
executive of Etisalat - the United Arab Emirate's top
operator - said in March.
It was unclear whether the contract Julfar referred to included
all of LIPTIC and its subsidiaries.
(Reporting by Sylvia Westall in Kuwait; Writing by Matt Smith in
Dubai; Editing by David French)