ECONOMY

FYROM telecom talks on new mobile phone license to start soon

Telecoms giant OTE expects to begin talks soon with the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) on a second mobile phone license, its international investments officer said yesterday. OTE’s head of international investments, George Skarpelis, told Reuters he expected an invitation to begin talks within the next few days, after the leading bidder in a tender missed a deadline to present a letter of credit. We have made a bid of $25 million, taking into account all the risks involved. We made the second-highest bid and the government called the second in line to discuss the agreement, Skarpelis said. He said OTE was sounded out for talks with the FYROM government after locally based Link failed to meet a deadline for a letter of credit on its bid of $80 million. He said he was confident of a successful outcome to the talks. If we get the FYROM license, it will round off our investments in the region, he said. OTE management said last month the FYROM license was the only new acquisition the company was considering for the moment, with the focus on consolidating international investments. OTE has interests in Romania, Albania via its mobile arm CosmOTE and Bulgaria, where GloBUL, the trademark of Cosmo Bulgaria Mobile, began operating last week. It is also present in Serbia and Armenia.