Turkcell to bid for Belarus mobile operator

Turkey's biggest mobile phone operator, Turkcell, is to bid for the state-owned Belarussian mobile operator BeST, according to a Reuters report.

Last year Belarus' President Alexander Lukashenko said the government was ready to cede control of BeST for around €318 million. In October, Belarus agreed to sell control of the country's second largest mobile phone operator, MDC, which operates under the Velcom brand, to Telekom Austria for €636 million (US$1 billion).

Turkcell's major shareholders are Nordic telecoms company TeliaSonera, Russian private equity firm Altimo and an unlisted Turkish conglomerate, Cukurova.

Turkcell already has interests in mobile phone operations in Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Moldova and Georgia.