Multinationals Buying Pakistani Companies to Profit From Growth

Two multinational giants acquired 2 Pakistani companies in just the last week alone as part of their growth strategy to establish presence in Pakistan.

Dutch dairy giant FrieslandCampina acquired 51 % of Karachi-based Engro Foods Limited, the second largest dairy producer in Pakistan. In the same week, Turkey's Arcelik announced purchase of Dawlance, Pakistan's market-leading home appliance maker.  Both cited opportunity for double-digit growth in the emerging market as the main reason for their acquisitions.

Pakistan's Emerging Market Upgrade:

Earlier in June, Morgan Stanley announced its decision that Pakistan's MSCI shares index will be upgraded from frontier to emerging market status. Pakistan's Karachi Stock Exchange KSE100 Index has rallied 14% in 2016, making it Asia's best performing market so far this year in anticipation of the MSCI announcement.

Pakistan Dairy Market:

Pakistan is the third largest milk-manufacturing country in the world, with 38 billion liters on an annual basis, according to Retail Detail of Europe.  FrieslandCampina wants to take advantage of the shift to packaged dairy products in Pakistan: not even 10 % of milk consumption comes from processed and packaged milk in Pakistan, but FrieslandCampina expects that to change in the near future.

“Thanks to this well-organized and very successful company, we have obtained a strong position in the Pakistani dairy market. A growing middle class is switching to processed and packaged milk in Pakistan and Engro Foods provides a platform to build on. This acquisition will contribute to the value proposition we want to give our member dairy manufacturers. We will also help develop the agricultural industry in Pakistan with our extensive knowledge on the dairy manufacturing process and thanks to our Dairy Development Programme", CEO Roelof Joosten said.

To tap into the Pakistani market, FrieslandCampina is buying 51% of Engro Foods at an estimated price of $448 million, a securities filing said on Monday. Topline Securities said Engro Corporation will generate cash of around Rs. 47 billion, part of which will most likely be invested in energy-related projects with a higher rate of return, according to a report in  Pakistan's Express Tribune newspaper.

Home Appliance Demand in Pakistan:

Pakistan's $3 billion home appliance market is experiencing double digit annual growth. It has attracted the attention of China's Haier, a multinational giant that recently acquired American General Electric's home appliance business.

Haier has 8 industrial complexes, two of which are foreign--one in the United States, and one in Pakistan,  according to  Xiaofei Li, the author of "China's Outward Foreign Investment: A Political Perspective". In these Special Economic Zones, Haier does localization to suit the needs of the consumers.  For Pakistani market, Haier especially designed a washer that can hold 15 long gowns at one time. There are many more such Special Economic Zones envisaged as part of the CPEC (China-Pakistan Economic Corridor).  It will be essentially an industrial corridor spanning almost the entire length of the country from the Arabia sea coast to the Karakorams where it enters China via the Karakoram Highway (KKH), the word's highest paved road.

Pakistan's privately-held Dawlance is also a major player in Pakistan's home appliance market. It is Pakistan's leading refrigerator and microwave brand, No. 2 air conditioners and No. 3 in the laundry category. In  2015, it reported $221 million in revenue and $45 million in EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization), according to Nikkei Asian Review.


“Pakistan is the sixth most populous country in the world with a population of 200 million people. In particular its young population and increasingly growing economy make it an enticing prospect as a market in the region. With the acquisition of Dawlance in Pakistan, Arçelik will employ a total workforce of 30,000 worldwide and will have a global production base of 18 manufacturing facilities including Turkey, Romania, Russia, China, South Africa and Thailand. Our acquisition is also a powerful example of south-south cooperation, representing a technology and know-how transfer between developing countries,” said Fatih Ebiçlioğlu, the head of the Consumer Durables Group of Koç Holding that controls Arcelik, according to Turkey's Hurriyet Daily News.

Summary:

Smart money is starting to flow into Pakistan again as the world recognizes the country's tremendous economic potential as a growing emerging market.  Investors and businesses are looking to profit from expanding Pakistani economy backed by growing middle class consumption and rising Chinese investments in energy and infrastructure.

Related Links:

Haq's Musings

China's Haier Expands Manufacturing in Pakistan

Japanese Multinationals Rank Pakistan Among Top Growth Markets

Chinese FDI in Pakistan For CPEC Projects

Pakistan Included in MSCI Emerging Market Index

Pakistan's Middle Class Grows to 55% of Population

China-Pakistan Industrial Corridor (CPEC)

Pakistan Launches $8.2 Billion Rail Upgrade Project

Comments

Riaz Haq said…
#Pakistan Investors Shrug Off Corruption Allegations Against #NawazSharif #PMLN #PanamaPapers http://blogs.barrons.com/emergingmarketsdaily/2016/07/05/pakistan-stocks-shrug-off-corruption-allegations/ … via @barronsonline

Allegations of government malfeasance in Pakistan are unlikely to shorten the tenure of Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif, according to Eurasia Group.

Despite corruption charges that surfaced in the Panama Papers, with support from the opposition in Pakistan, the small Global X Pakistan Exchange-traded fund (PAK) is up about 15% this year, reflecting MSCI’s recent announcement that it will add the country to the MSCI Emerging Market index. The fund was down 1% in recent trading, while the iShares MSCI Emerging Markets ETF (EEM) was down 2% and the iShares MSCI Frontier 100 ETF (FM) was down 1.3%.

Analyst Christopher Cannell writes:

“Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif of the ruling Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz party (PML-N) will remain in London until … the end of the month of Ramazan, recovering from heart surgery even as he faces fresh corruption allegations stemming from the Panama Papers. Yet while the mounting allegations will weaken Sharif’s political position at a time when he was not present to defend himself, he will continue to lead the PML-N and early elections are highly unlikely. … The PML-N is likely to win the 2018 election with a reduced mandate …

The contest to replace him will be complicated by corruption allegations against many main contenders within the PML-N, sparking worsening political instability after the election … Sharif’s … approval rating has experienced a non-negligible drop from 75% in October 2015 to 54% in June 2016, the only poll conducted after the leaks. However, Sharif’s political standing is grounded on the PML-N’s strength in parliament, the tacit support of the Army, and the $46 billion China Pakistan Economic Corridor – a set of infrastructure projects critical to Pakistan’s future economic performance—negotiated by Sharif and his PML-N. The PML-N remains the largest party in the lower house, and would not pass a motion of no-confidence in the PM, and it retains control of its Punjab heartland, the most populous area of Pakistan.

… Sharif’s heir apparent is his daughter Maryam Nawaz Sharif, currently the party’s unofficial social media coordinator. She is also reportedly increasingly involved in policy and party meetings while her father convalesces in London, despite having no formal political position. However, she has been directly named in the Panama Papers … “

There are a number of stories on Pakistan opposition leader Syed Khursheed Shah in Pakistan Today. Also see our posts How Do you Define “Emerging”? Pakistan Counts The Ways, MSCI Jazzed On Argentina & Pakistan, Not Nigeria Or China and How Panama Papers Could Play Out In EM.
Riaz Haq said…
#IMF revises up #Pakistan's 2016/2017 growth forecast to 5 percent http://reut.rs/29mzJad via @ReutersIndia
http://in.reuters.com/article/pakistan-imf-idINKCN0ZL1JH

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Tuesday increased to 5 percent its forecast for Pakistan's growth in the fiscal year to June 2017, from a previous estimate of 4.7 percent, citing China's plans to invest in road and energy infrastructure.

In September, Pakistan will end a three-year $6.7-billion financial assistance programme from the IMF, after the economy recovered from a series of financial crises, with growth at an eight-year high and increased foreign exchange reserves.

Fund officials say Pakistan has met all performance criteria for the assistance programme but urged Islamabad to keep tackling structural reforms to further increase growth and make it more inclusive.

"Growth is expected to strengthen to 5 percent in FY 2016/17, supported in part by an expected pick-up of investment related to the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC)," the fund said in a report.

The $46-billion CPEC project will focus on road building and energy infrastructure to end chronic power shortages in Pakistan. A highway is expected to link Western China with the port of Gwadar port on the Arabian Sea.

Fund officials say Pakistan's economy is likely to have grown 4.7 percent in the fiscal year to June 2016, a touch higher than their May estimate of 4.5 percent.

"Inflation is expected to remain contained at 5.2 percent in FY 2016/17, well-anchored by prudent monetary policy," the IMF added.

The IMF said Pakistan had also sought a four-week extension to the loan programme from Sept 3 to Sept 30 to "allow sufficient time to conduct discussions for the final review". It added Pakistan was in strong position to repay the IMF.

"Pakistan’s financing needs are fully covered for the remainder of the program and the country’s capacity to repay the Fund remains strong owing to supportive macroeconomic policies, resilient remittances inflows, and increasing foreign exchange reserves," the IMF said.

Riaz Haq said…
#China Grants $260m for #Gwadar International Airport in #Pakistan #CPEC http://crss.pk/story/china-grants-260m-for-gwadar-airport/ …

China is granting Pakistan some $260 million for the construction of the Gwadar International Airport on the Arabian Sea, national media reported Tuesday.
Government officials shared this information with the Parliamentary Committee on China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) in a recent meeting at Islamabad, the daily Express Tribune said. The entire amount of $ 260 million is a grant from the Chinese government, the parliamentarians were informed. (http://tribune.com.pk/story/1136476/infrastructure-gwadar-airport-cost-260m/)
Gwadar, also being developed as a deep-sea port, is the culmination of the CPEC – the first initiative under China’s One Belt One Road (OBOR) trade connectivity plans – that will connect Kashgar in west Chinese province of Xinjiang through a nearly 3000 km route.
Gwadar is located in the ethnic Baloch part of the southwestern Balochistan province, where a low-intensity Baloch nationalist movement has been stoking unrest.
This airport would be able to handle the largest of passenger planes including the A380 Air Bus and Boeing 747-400.
Additionally, the Chinese government has given another grant of $10 million for the construction of the Pakistan-China Vocational and Technical Training Institute to help locals acquire skills.
These grants are part of $ 46 billion infrastructure investment and communications’ development plan under the CPEC. It includes construction of highways, industrial zones, and energy projects across Pakistan.
Riaz Haq said…
"#India's Growing At 5-6%, Less Than #Modi Government Claims" "#Pakistan's prospects bright" Morgan Stanley's Sharma

http://www.huffingtonpost.in/prabha-chandran/exclusive-india-will-rise_b_10750458.html … via @HuffPostIndia

Sharma says: "I think India is growing at a pace between 5 and 6%, or about two points lower than the government claims. That is a huge difference -- but these days a pace better than 5% is actually quite good, even for a relatively lower income country. At a time when slower population growth, high debts, falling growth in global trade and capital flows, and other forces are slowing the global economy, every class of nations needs to lower its expectations. It may be a long time before we see another emerging nation post growth in excess of 7-8% in this new era. The risk for India is that the state will try to push growth faster than is possible or practical, in this slow growth era"


"Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Bangladesh all have bright prospects going forward, with credit growth under control, strong working-age population growth, inflation in check..."
Riaz Haq said…
You can make 3 times more money by betting on stocks in #Pakistan (18% YTD) than in #India (6%) - The Economic Times

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/markets/stocks/news/you-can-make-3-times-more-money-by-betting-on-stocks-in-pakistan-than-in-india/articleshow/53190672.cms

At a time when the world has turned its focus on India, its neighbour Pakistan is running away with all the honours in financial markets.

Data compiled by ETMarkets.com shows you could have made three times more money by betting on the Karachi Stock Exchange's KSE30 index than on Bombay Stock Exchange's Sensex.

The KSE30 has given 18 per cent returns so far this year through July 12, making it the best-performing Asian index. Compared with that, the BSE Sensex has given just 6% ..


While, IMF has marked India as the brightest spot in the global economy, it has also been raising its forecast for Pakistan. In May, IMF raised Pakistan's GDP forecast for FY2017 to 5 per cent from 4.7 per cent.

"Growth is expected to strengthen to 5 per cent in FY 2016-17, supported in part by an expected pickup of investment related to CPEC ..


Not only that. The London-based BMI Research, a financial market analysis firm, has rated the country among the next big drivers of global economic growth. Others on the list are Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Egypt, Kenya, Indonesia, Myanmar, Nigeria, Philippines and Vietnam.
Riaz Haq said…
For retail investors, PAK ETF is pure play. Other index and mutual funds have various weights in Pakistani stocks.

Examples:

the iShares MSCI Frontier Market ETF (FM) and the iShares MSCI Emerging Markets ETF (EEM)

http://www.barrons.com/articles/pakistans-enormous-long-term-growth-potential-1461386993

There are also mutual funds like Franklin Templeton Asia Growth Fund

http://www.franklintempletoncareers.com/downloadsServlet?docid=hansupjc


Riaz Haq said…
Increase in Pakistan’s energy consumption depicts higher economic activities

Pakistan's primary energy consumption increased by 5.9 percent to 78.2 million ton oil equivalent (MTOE) in 2015, compared with 73.2MTOE in 2014 depicting higher economic activities.

According to the statistical data of British Petroleum on energy use around the world, the primary energy consumption in China grew by 1.12 percent from 2014 to 2015 that has resulted in slowdown in China’s economy. India’s primary energy consumption increased by 5.1 percent during the same period which is lower than that of Pakistan. Indian GDP growth, though highest in the world remains much below the peaks it attained at the start of this decade.

The fuels consumed for producing primary energy show that in 2014, Pakistan consumed 22.8MTOE of oil that increased to 25.2MTOE in 2015. Its natural gas use also increased from 37.7MTOE in 2014 to 39.0MTOE in 2015. The consumption of coal remained the same at 4.7MTOE in both years.

According to the report, electricity consumption in Pakistan increased from 96.2 terawatt-h in 2008 110.0 terawatt-h in 2015. The increase was restricted to 99.3 terawatt-h till 2012; showing cumulative increase of 4 percent only, but in the next three years the consumption cumulatively increased by 10.7 percent of which 2.7 percent increase was in 2015 over 2014. Indian electricity consumption in comparison increased more robustly being 833.4 terawatt-h in 2008 that increased to 1,304.8 terawatt-h in 2015.

---
India produces 45.5MTOE from natural gas, 407.2MTOE from coal that is 100 times more than the primary energy that Pakistan derives from coal. Its hydro electric generation is 8.6MTOE. It derives 15.5MTOE from renewable that is 30 times more than what Pakistan obtains from renewable. The primary energy obtained by China from natural gas is 177.6MTOE, from coal it is a whopping 19,203MTOE. Its hydro electric energy amounts to 254.9MTOE, nuclear 38.6MTOE and renewable 62.7MTOE. The renewable energy extracted by China is equivalent to 60 percent of the total energy produced in Pakistan.

Bangladesh in 2008 consumed only 34.2 terawatt-h electricity that was almost 1/3rd of the power consumption in Pakistan. In 2015 the gap was reduced to 60 percent of the power consumed in Pakistan. Bangladesh is exporting much more than Pakistan despite low power use because it adds high value to its apparel. The power requirement of the garment industry is nominal when compared with spinning, weaving and processing that produce low value-added textiles exported by Pakistan. The electricity consumption in China increased to 5,810 terawatt-h in 2015 compared with 3495 terawatt-h in 2008.

Coal, wind and solar energy are the cheapest source of energy around the world. Wind and solar along with hydro electricity are the cleanest energy fuels. China fulfilled 1,920MTOE of its energy needs from coal, India 388.7MTOE, and Pakistan only 4.7MTOE. Coal use for energy production is confined only to the private sector in Pakistan. Around 3,000MW coal based power plants are expected to be commissioned by 2019 after which share of coal in the energy mix would substantially increase. Wind power consumption in China was 41MTOE in 2015, it was 9.4MTOE in India and only 0.1MTOE in Pakistan. Solar power production in 2015 was 8.9MTOE in China, 1.5MTOE in India and only 0.3MTOE in Pakistan. Pakistan is also on the course to double its hydro electric production to over 16,000MW by the end of 2021.

https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/131885-Increase-in-Pakistans-energy-consumption-depicts-higher-economic-activities

http://www.bp.com/content/dam/bp/pdf/energy-economics/statistical-review-2016/bp-statistical-review-of-world-energy-2016-full-report.pdf
Riaz Haq said…
#Karachi #Pakistan’s #Electric Utility K-Electric Rises After $1.6 Billion #Shanghai Offer. #China http://bloom.bg/2c1QcCc via @markets

Pakistan’s K-Electric Ltd. rose to the highest in more than a year and a half after Shanghai Electric Power Co. said it plans to buy a controlling stake in the power utility valued at $1.6 billion.
China’s state-backed Shanghai Electric Power intends to acquire as much as 18.3 billion shares, representing 66% of K-Electric, according to a notice sent by offer manager Arif Habib Ltd. to the Pakistan Stock Exchange. K-Electric shares rose 1.3 percent to 9.21 rupees after the announcement, the highest since January 2015. Arif Habib rose by the 5 percent limit, the most in a month.
The Chinese company said last week it’s doing preliminary preparation work on acquiring a stake in K-Electric, which serves about 2.2 million customers and employs 11,000 people in Karachi, Pakistan’s coastal commercial capital. Shanghai is vying with Chinese clean-energy group Golden Concord Holdings Ltd., French utility Engie SA and at least one investment fund, people with knowledge of the matter said earlier this month.
Bidders were asked to submit binding offers by the end of this month for Abraaj Group’s 66 percent holding in the Pakistani company, according to the people, who asked not to be identified as the information is private. Pakistan’s government owns another 24 percent stake in K-Electric, according to Bloomberg-compiled data.
Acquiring control of K-Electric would be Shanghai Electric Power’s biggest overseas purchase, surpassing its 2014 deal to buy a $399 million stake in Maltese utility Enemalta Plc, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
Riaz Haq said…
Abraaj invested $361 million for 50% KESC (renamed K-Electric) stake in 2008. Shanghai is now buying 66% stake for $1.6 billion.
http://www.abraaj.com/images/uploads/newspdfs/EMPEA_case_study_kesc_web_FINAL.PDF
Riaz Haq said…
#Pakistan offers great-potential for #Turkish firms investments. #Dawlance #Cocacola #Erdogan #Turkey

http://www.yenisafak.com/en/world/pakistan-offers-great-potential-for-turkish-firms-investments-2566850

Atilla Yerlikaya, the president of Turkey-Pakistan Business Council of External Economic Relations Committee, emphasized Pakistan's economic potential for Turkey, showing a brief glance into the country's economic opportunities.
According to Yerlikaya, during Erdogan's last visit to Pakistan, Erdogan and Pakistani PM Nawaz Sharif came together with businessmen from both countries and called for a closer cooperation to increase bilateral trade volume and investments to a great degree.
He said, ''President Erdogan praised the Koç Group for investing in Pakistan by buying Dawlance co, a prominent white goods producer of Pakistan for $243 million and Anadolu Group for Coca-Cola investment which exceeds $500 million. He cited them as examples of successful economic cooperation between two countries.''

-----


Highlighting Pakistan's great potential for business, he said, ''Within the context of the Project of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, Pakistan's energy and logistic infrastructures will be renewed. Considering Pakistan's $270-billon national income, one can easily grasp how a $50-billion investment makes sense. These investments will unlock agricultural and industrial sectors of the country for Turkey."
Riaz Haq said…
Dr. Jawaid Abdul Ghani, a professor at Karachi School of Business Leadership, has recently analyzed household surveys in India and Pakistan to discover the following:

1. As of 2015, car ownership in both India and Pakistan is about the same at 6% of households owning a car. However, 41% of Pakistani household own motorcycles, several points higher than India's 32%.

2. 12% of Pakistani households own a computer, slightly higher than 11% in India.

3. Higher percentage of Pakistani households own appliances such as refrigerators (Pakistan 47%, India 33%), washing machines (Pakistan 48%, India 15%) and fans (Pakistan 91%, India 83%).

4. 71% of Indian households own televisions versus 62% in Pakistan.

http://www.riazhaq.com/2017/05/comparing-ownership-of-appliances-and.html
Riaz Haq said…
#Pakistan’s growing economy attracting #Turkish investors, companies. #CPEC #China

https://tribune.com.pk/story/1413442/pakistans-growing-gdp-attracting-turkish-companies/

ISTANBUL / TURKEY:
Pakistan’s growing Gross Domestic Product is becoming an attraction for Turkish companies as they scout for investments in the country, said Foreign Economic Relations Board of Turkey General Secretary Mustafa Mente.

“The potential of Pak-Turk relations is much more than what the bilateral trade volume suggests,” Mente told The Express Tribune.
Pakistan is among the first three countries when it comes to initial visits for any elected government of Turkey, he said.

“The good news is that many Turkish companies now have their presence in Pakistan and the country’s rising GDP is fast becoming an attraction for them to look for more business avenues,” he added.

Mente said the entire South Asian region, which includes Pakistan, India and Bangladesh is unique due to its huge population, almost 1.7 billion, and would be a choice for Turkish companies to invest.
But he said distance and cost of travelling will remain issues.
“We are also facing the same issue when it comes to the US markets, though there are a lot of opportunities for SMEs and other such businesses.”
Pakistan and Turkey are also in negotiation to finalise a Free Trade Agreement to boost bilateral trade. As per the Pakistan Business Council, the current level of bilateral trade between the two countries is $584 million, which has potential to go up to $5 billion.
Currently, Pakistan’s exports to Turkey stand at $391 million, whereas Turkey’s exports amount to $193 million.
In recent years, few Turkish companies have invested directly in Pakistan, particularly in Punjab, but that is more due to the government’s urge to replicate some Turkish models in the provincial capital.
The prime example is of Albayrak that is currently providing its services in transportation and waste management sectors. Some private groups have also invested directly in the electronic goods segment primarily to cover the region due to the upcoming China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, which will connect the region via rail and road links.
Mente said that currently negotiations are under way for Foreign Direct Investments in textile sector particularly in fabrics and yarn; however, some technical issues remain unresolved.
“Both sides are interested in investing in the textile sector but we have to find common ground,” he said, adding that he was hopeful that the level of Turkish investments in Pakistan as well as Pakistani investments in Turkey will rise across all sectors including health and tourism.
Riaz Haq said…
#Malaysia Axiata's Edotco buys 55% stake in #Pakistan cell tower co with Pakistan's Dawood Hercules 45% for US$940m
http://www.theedgemarkets.com/article/axiatas-edotco-adds-13000-pakistan-towers-its-portfolio-us940m

KUALA LUMPUR (Aug 30): Axiata Group Bhd's 62.4%-owned subsidiary edotco Group Sdn Bhd announced its biggest expansion plan to-date with the proposed acquisition of 13,000 towers in Pakistan for US$940 million to solidify its position as one of the largest independent tower companies in the world.

In a statement today, edotco said it, together with Pakistan-listed Dawood Hercules Corp Ltd (DH Corp), is acquiring the towers from Pakistan Mobile Communications Ltd (PMCL).

DH Corp, with a market capitalisation of US$600 million, is one of Pakistan's largest conglomerates with a varied business portfolio which includes fertilisers, foods, chemical storage and handling, trading, energy — including independent power production, renewables and petrochemicals.

The proposed deal follows edotco's recent acquisition of Tanzanite Tower Private Ltd and its 700 towers in June.

Today, edotco said Tanzanite has entered into an agreement with PMCL to acquire the latter's tower subsidiary Deodar Private Ltd and its portfolio of over 13,000 tower assets.

As part of the transaction partnership, DH Corp will be investing a 45% equity stake in edotco Pakistan Pte Ltd, which in turn owns Tanzanite, with the remaining 55% controlling stake to be held by edotco.

The total transaction consideration for the proposed acquisition will be funded through a combination of external local debt of US$600 million and an equity split of US$174 million by edotco and US$166 million by DH Corp for their respective stakes.

Subject to the customary and regulatory conditions precedent being fulfilled, the acquisition is scheduled to be completed in the fourth quarter of 2017.

With its existing portfolio of over 26,000 towers owned and operated across six countries, the move will effectively place edotco as the eighth largest independent tower company and second largest multi-country tower operator globally.

The acquisition will lead edotco to have a portfolio of approximately 40,000 towers being operated and managed across the region, comprising some 32,000 owned and operated with a further 8,000 towers managed through a range of services provided.

edotco chief executive officer (CEO) Suresh Sidhu said the acquisition of Deodar is a critical part for the company's growth strategy and ambition to position edotco as the leading independent telecommunications infrastructure services provider in Asia.

"With DH Corp as our partner, we are confident in the potential of the market in Pakistan and will continue to demonstrate our long-term commitment to supporting the development and enhancement of the country's telecommunications infrastructure," he said.

As the majority shareholder of edotco, Axiata's president and group CEO Tan Sri Jamaludin Ibrahim said the group supports the proposed transaction, which will further elevate edotco's position as a leading independent tower company globally and bring strong financial accretion to the company.

"It will also help create a more balanced portfolio for edotco in having three operations of significant size and nature which are Malaysia, Bangladesh and Pakistan," he said.

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