SingTel eyeing 30% of Pakistan's Warid, says report

SingTel is likely to buy a 30% stake in Warid Telecom in a deal that would value Pakistan's third-largest mobile phone operator at $1 billion, the Financial Times, quoted by a Reuters report, said.

The Reuters report said the Financial Times, quoting sources, said the Singapore firm had emerged as a strong favorite to buy the stake ahead of rivals MTN of South Africa and Britain's Vodafone.

'A deal between SingTel and Warid could be signed as early as next month,' the newspaper quoted one of its sources as saying.

Warid is owned by the private Abu Dhabi Group, which is one of the largest foreign investor groups in Pakistan and owns Bank Alfalah and Wateen Telecom, the Reuters report said.

Industry sources told Reuters last month that Warid had been approached by several international telecommunications firms and that an agreement could be reached in July or August.

SingTel has repeatedly said it was interested in Pakistan's fast-growing mobile phone sector, the report said.