Rumour Mill: Turkcell stalks Syrian operator

As emerging markets become more important to the investment plans of the global cellcos, Turkcell, Turkey's largest mobile operator, has revealed that it wants to acquire a majority shareholding in Syria's leading mobile operator, Syriatel Mobile Telecom.

According to official documents lodged with the İstanbul Stock Exchange earlier this week, Turkcell has already instigated feasibility studies for such an investment in Syriatel and will also explore the potential effects of the purchase. This move is part of the company's declared strategy of seeking investment opportunities in neighbouring countries and, where possible, acquirement of a majority stake.

The Syrian government has stated that it wants to liberalise its telecoms market in accordance with a pledge it gave to the EU to complete the task by 2010.

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