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Sri Lanka’s Dialog may buy Airtel unit with share swap: report

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s Dialog Axiata may acquire a unit of Bharti Airtel in the island by issuing its own stock for shares of the smaller player, a media report said.

India’s Economic Times newspaper citing unnamed sources said the stock could be issued to a Singapore based unit of Airtel and negotiations were ongoing.

Axiata had already merged its Bangladesh units with Airtel.
Economic Times said Airtel said there was no development to report now and Dialog had declined to comment on "news which are of a speculative nature."

The reports said Dialog had 10 million customers and Airtel 2 million, raising concerns over competition.

Sri Lanka’s Telecom minister Harin Fernando said earlier this month that authorities had been sounded out over the take-over.

However critics say Sri Lanka’s telecom regulator had also already supported anti-competitive practices and stifled competition with floor rates. (Colombo/Feb11/2016)

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