Telecom Egypt CEO denies regional expansion plans

Telecom Egypt has no plans to expand elsewhere in the region for now, its chief executive said on Thursday after a report it would be interested if mobile operator Zain Saudi was for sale.

The Egyptian landline monopoly, which is mostly owned by the Egyptian government, is eager to increase broadband penetration in its domestic market, CEO Tarek Tantawy told Reuters in a phone call.

"All of our focus in the coming period is for our home market, to become a total communications provider and increase broadband penetration," he said. "We see a future in broadband in our home market."

A Dow Jones Newswires report on Wednesday quoted Telecom Egypt's Chairman, Akil Beshir, as saying the company would "definitely look into it" if Zain's Saudi unit was for sale.

Tantawy said Telecom Egypt had "no regional plans, be it in Saudi or elsewhere, for the time being".

A bid for a Zain Saudi stake would be "highly unlikely", he added.

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