BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific Arabic Spanish Russian Chinese Welsh
BBCi CATEGORIES   TV   RADIO   COMMUNICATE   WHERE I LIVE   INDEX    SEARCH 

BBC NEWS
 You are in: Business
Front Page 
World 
UK 
UK Politics 
Business 
Market Data 
Economy 
Companies 
E-Commerce 
Your Money 
Business Basics 
Sci/Tech 
Health 
Education 
Entertainment 
Talking Point 
In Depth 
AudioVideo 


Commonwealth Games 2002

BBC Sport

BBC Weather

SERVICES 
Friday, 2 November, 2001, 11:55 GMT
South Korea delays telecoms sell-off
DoCoMo employees looking at 3G phone
Korea Telecom is selling shares in mobile firm SK Telecom
The South Korean government has been forced to delay privatising the country's biggest fixed line phone operator, Korea Telecom, because it cannot get a good price for its stake.

In July, information minister Yang Seung-taik said the government had been holding talks with a number of foreign firms, including Microsoft.

The sell-off is now pencilled in for the end of 2002, six months later than originally planned, according to Korea Telecom's chief financial officer, Nam Joong-soo.

"We have no desire to conduct a fire sale to complete the privatisation... I personally think we can complete privatisation by the end of next year," he said.

Tight time-frame

Talks are taking place with potential foreign partners and should be sucessfully concluded by the end of this year, he said.

Analysts expressed scepticism over whether the firm and the government, which owns 40.1% of the Korea Telecom, would be able to meet this deadline.

"It has only two months to find the right guys. But things overseas will not be that favourable," said Hanwha Securities analyst.

Korea Telecom also plans to buy back some of its own shares, which have lost 27% of their value this year, to ease market concerns about a glut, Mr Nam said. .

Mobile shares

Analysts have been expecting the phone firm to fund a buy-back by selling part of its 13.4% holding in domestic mobile phone giant SK Telecom, trimming the stake to 10.4%.

Their expectations were confirmed by news that SK Telecom paid Korea Telecom 668bn won ($515bn) for 2.67 million of its own shares, equivalent to 3% of the mobile firm.

SK Telecom last month announced a delay to its own development plans, postponing the launch of third-generation services till 2003.

See also:

12 Oct 01 | Business
SK Telecom says DoCoMo talks go on
23 Aug 01 | Business
Cheaper calls for North Korea
01 Oct 01 | Business
First 3G mobiles launched in Japan
03 Sep 01 | Business
NTT DoCoMo unveils 3G package
24 Aug 01 | Business
NTT DoCoMo in European tie-up
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Business stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Business stories