Telenor is pushing ahead with plans to exit from the Pakistan mobile market, with a potential sale valued as high as $1 billion.
Norwegian state-owned Telenor is working with Citigroup to invite potential bidders for Telenor Pakistan, reports Bloomberg.
It's thought that strategic bidders from the Middle East and Asia are interested in acquiring Telenor Pakistan, with the first bidding round expected to occur later this month.
Telenor is keen to depart the market, announcing in July that it posted a $244 million impairment on operations in Pakistan, while its underlying earnings in the country dropped by 22 percent in the third quarter.
Following talks of a potential sale, Telenor's shares grew as much as 2.4 percent yesterday (November 9).
It comes just a month after Telenor recently established a new Asian segment, Telenor Asia. Headquartered in Singapore, Telenor Asia has been created to oversee full responsibility for Telenor's operations in Bangladesh, Malaysia, Pakistan, and Thailand.
The telco serves over 175 million customers across the Nordics and Asia and is reorganizing its presence in Asia as part of its growth strategy, the telco said last month.
This customer base is expected to grow even further beyond 200 million, following Telenor signing merger agreements in Malaysia and Thailand last year, with these mergers expected to be the largest and second-largest in Asia.
The merger in Malaysia centers around DiGi and Celcom, while True Corporation and Total Access Communication have recently been approved to merge in Thailand, despite fierce opposition.