Telenor Group bolstered its Telenor Asia arm to explore regional growth opportunities for units in Bangladesh, Malaysia, Pakistan and Thailand.
Telenor Asia is based in Singapore and will be a more “independent regional entity” which will take on “full oversight and responsibility” of the four countries mentioned.
Each unit will have dedicated investment management teams; these teams will take on asset manager roles and represent Telenor’s interest in local boards. The team in Singapore will also be strengthened with expertise in finance, operations, risk management, governance, people management and responsible business.
Telenor Asia head Jorgen Rostrup said: “The strengthened team at our Singapore headquarters will add value to our operations and safeguard our interests in the region. This will also help us ensure value creation of our assets, and we will explore structural partnerships or, in the future, a potential IPO.”
Telenor pointed to its recent merger activities in Malaysia and Thailand, both of which it claimed to be the largest and second-largest mergers in southeast Asia when sealed. Once completed Telenor estimated its portfolio will possess market leaders in three large Asian markets, with a collective subscriber base of 200 million, and US$10 billion in revenue.
In Malaysia, Telenor is progressing with the tie-up between its Digi unit and Axiata’s Celcom. Meanwhile, in Thailand, Telenor is the majority shareholder in DTAC, which is aiming to merge with True. CEO Sigve Brekke dismissed speculation at the time claiming Telenor was seeking to exit Thailand post-merger.
The mergers are a part of Telenor’s long-term plan to achieve US$1.2 billion in cash flow by 2025 through three key growth strategies.
Telenor is aiming to increase adoption and data usage in Bangladesh and Pakistan, which Telenor noted has plenty of space for growth as 50% of customers in those two countries only use voice services.
The company will also pursue revenue growth in B2B pointing to an increase in demand since the pandemic, and finally, there will be expansions in services such as insurance, security and gaming products.