China's biggest mobile carrier eyes acquisitions overseas

China Mobile, the country's top wireless operator, plans to take advantage of the global stock market downturn to acquire overseas telecom firms that have now become cheaper, an AFP report said.

'(China Mobile) would like to acquire high-quality and profit-making telecommunications enterprises overseas,' Lei Yu, a spokeswoman of China Mobile's Hong Kong-listed unit, was quoted by the AFP report as saying.

She declined to provide any timetable for the expansion, the AFP report said.

The official China Securities Journal reported that the company was eyeing some relatively small telecom companies in other Asian markets as declining stock market had resulted in lower prices, the report said.

So far China Mobile has made only one overseas takeover, buying an 88.86% stake in Pakistan's fifth-largest mobile operator Paktel for $284 million in January 2007, the AFP report further said.

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