Myanmar’s contest for two telecommunications licenses attracted bidders from around the globe seeking a foothold in one of the last remaining untapped markets, where only one in 10 people has a mobile phone.
The winners are scheduled to be announced on Thursday, ending a six-month race that drew 91 expressions of interest to operate in the country of 64 million people. Norway’s Telenor ASA, Singapore Telecommunications Ltd (ST), billionaire George Soros and France Telecom SA (FTE) are among the 11 remaining bidding groups.
“It’s a tremendous growth opportunity, but it will require a fair bit of investment, and returns will be long dated too,” said Sachin Gupta, a Singapore-based analyst at Nomura Holdings Inc. “I don’t think it’s going to be an easy exercise for anyone, but having previous green-field experience and strong local partnership should help.”
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