Singapore's top carrier sets focus on China expansion

SingTel, Southeast Asia's largest telecoms firm, is in talks with operators in China about investing in the world's biggest telecoms market, a Reuters report said.

China has also recently overhauled and opened the industry to foreign investors.

'It's a market we have been monitoring. We have been in discussions with various operators in the China market,' SingTel CEO Chua Sock Koong was quoted by the Reuters report as saying.

Last month, Beijing unveiled a long-awaited sector revamp, aimed at improving competition and rolling out high-speed third-generation mobile services, in what has been called the world's largest industrial reorganization, the report added.

The restructure also opens the door to foreign investors who have been restricted to taking small stakes, such as Vodafone's 3.3% investment in China Mobile.

'We are not financial investors, we want to make investments as strategic partners, and the stake is one that would give us the necessary governance rights and involvement at the board and management level,' Chua said.

'There are ongoing engagements but no deal has been done,' she added, without naming any firms.

Earlier this month, media reports citing unnamed sources said SingTel was considering investing in fixed-line operator China Telecom, although there have been no formal talks.

This follows China Telecom's comments that it was in talks to sell a stake to a strategic investor and had been approached by four or five companies, the Reuters report further said.