Arab Advisors Group
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Arab Advisors Group expects low global operators interest in Arab World's upcoming liberalizations. Arab Regional operators will step in.
Wednesday, September 25, 2002

A newly released comprehensive trend report from the Arab Advisors Group fully analyzes the current environment in the global telecom sector and the current status of major the global telecom players. The report concludes that these global telecom players are unlikely to bid for licenses, or other offerings (for privatizations etc.), in the Arab World.

September 25, 2002 -

Given the existing conditions in the global communications markets, key global players are focused and will continue to focus, for the near and medium terms, on strengthening financials by reducing debt, selling non-core assets, cutting capital expenditure (CAPEX) and enhancing customer retention. This environment will undoubtedly have an effect on Arab liberalization programs, although it could allow regional telecom players to enter and fill the void of the global players. These regional players will have the chance to capture opportunities in many Arab markets which are, for the most part, still underdeveloped, profitable and growing markets. The list of regional players include UAE's Etisalat, Qatar's Q-Tel, Bahrain's Batelco and Kuwait's mobile operators. These are all, profitable, secure in their home markets and able to grow regionally.

A new report "The State of Global Telecom Players: The Effect on the Arab World's Privatization and Liberalization Plans", was released to the Arab Advisors Group's ( Strategic Research Service subscribers on September 25, 2002. The report shows that Arab governments that are looking to raise money through license auctions or through other means this year may be faced with a bidding process that involves little competition and ultimately reduced license fees.

"The tough state of the global telecom vendors may have unexpected benefits for the Arab World's communications markets. The vendors are suffering from a decreased demand for infrastructure by their global customers. This makes these vendors more likely to discount pricing for new networks in the Arab world in order to increase revenues. New operators therefore could have lower CAPEX costs, although it may be difficult to obtain vendor financing arrangements." Arab Advisors Group's President, Jawad Abbassi noted.

The 30-plus pages report, which includes 22 detailed exhibits profiles 17 global operators and vendors. It also overviews all the upcoming liberalization and privatization plans in major Arab markets. Eight global operators already have stakes in major Arab operators from Morocco to Bahrain. These are: Cable & Wireless, Vodafone, France Telecom, Orange, Sonera, Vivendi, Telefonica and Portugal Telecom. The reports Table of Contents and List of Exhibits can be viewed at Arab Advisors Group's web page, www.arabadvisors.

The Arab Advisors Group's team of analysts in the region has already produced more than 115 reports on the Arab World's communications markets. The reports can be purchased individually or received through an annual subscription to Arab Advisors Group's ( Strategic Research Service. To date, Arab Advisors Group has served more than 60 global and regional companies by providing reliable research analysis and forecasts of Arab communications markets to these clients.

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