FRANCE TELECOM QUESTIONS ITS FUTURE IN MAURITIUS

Telecoms

       France Telecom may be questioning whether it will stay invested in Mauritius Telecom and whether it should increase its share in the company as it had previously announced. Président-Directeur Général Thierry Breton of France Telecom on a private visit to the island paid a courtesy visit to Mauritian Prime Minister Paul Bérenger.

  The discussions covered the participation of France Telecom in Mauritius Telecom. As a 40% shareholder in the company since the end of 2000, would not be against an evolution of its participation but that was not discussed officially, according to one source at the meeting. The two main participants spoke about "reinforcing collaboration between the two companies" and that Mauritius Telecom wanted to be in the "cadre of liberalisation." They also discussed how they could make the island a regional telecommunications hub.

  However there have been for some time rumours that France Telecom was wanting to pull out of its shareholding in the company. Last year the company wrote down the value of its investment in the company.

  The next largest shareholder in the company is the Government at 41% (if you include the 6.5% of the National Pension Fund). The State Bank of Mauritius controls a further 19% and 1% is spread amongst employees.

L'Express