AT&T eyeing stake in Telekom Malaysia unit-report

AT&T, the biggest US phone company, wants to buy an unspecified stake in the mobile arm of state-controlled phone firm Telekom Malaysia, a Malaysian newspaper, quoted by a Reuters report, said.

According to the report, Telekom Malaysia is spinning off its mobile business into a separately listed firm, TM International, which will include its domestic Celcom unit and operations in nine other countries, including India, Indonesia, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.

Telekom declined to comment on the report, the Reuters report said.

'Telekom Malaysia wishes to inform that it does not comment on any news that is speculative in nature,' it said in a statement.

AT&T is among the frontrunners to form a partnership with TM International as the US firm has a presence in Vietnam, a market that Telekom Malaysia is keen to penetrate, the newspaper said citing unnamed sources.

Telekom Malaysia had earlier dismissed as speculative a November report by Britain's Sunday Times that Vodafone was a frontrunner to buy a 25% stake in TM International, the Reuters report further said.