Telenor Group has announced the formation of Telenor Asia, in a move that offers the telco a more independent regional entity in Asia.

Headquartered in Singapore, Telenor Asia will oversee full responsibility for Telenor's operations in Bangladesh, Malaysia, Pakistan, and Thailand.

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The telco, which serves over 175 million customers across the Nordics and Asia, is reorganizing its presence in Asia as part of its growth strategy.

160 million of these customers are based in Asia, where Telenor has had a growing presence over the years. The telco has been operating in Singapore since 1998 and in Bangladesh since 1997.

“The strengthened team at our Singapore headquarters will add value to our operations and safeguard our interests in the region," said Jørgen Rostrup, Head of Telenor Asia.

"This will also help us ensure value creation of our assets, and we will explore structural partnerships or, in the future, a potential IPO."

According to Telenor, each market will have dedicated investment management teams, while its Singapore base will be strengthened across various areas of the business including finance, operations, risk management, governance, and people management.

Telenor Asia signed merger agreements in Malaysia and Thailand last year, with these mergers expected to be the largest and second-largest merger in Asia.

The merger in Malaysia centers around DiGi and Celcom, while True Corporation and Total Access Communication have been tipped for a merger, although is looking less likely at this current time, amid strong opposition from Thai lawyer Somboon Boonyapirom, according to the Bangkok Post.

If the two mergers are finalized, Telenor says its "portfolio will comprise leading telco players in three large Asian markets, with more than 200 million customers and US$10 billion in revenue".

By 2025, Telenor Asia has also set out to achieve a target of $1.2 billion in cash flow. The company has identified opportunities in Pakistan and Bangladesh around increasing mobile adoption, bolstering B2B revenue across the region, and expanding customer value.

Last week Telenor Asia's parent company, Telenor, agreed to sell a 30 percent stake in its Norwegian fiber broadband unit Telenor Fiber AS for 10.8 billion crowns ($1bn) to a consortium led by US investment firm KKR and pension company Oslo Pensjonsforsikring.

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