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China Mobile may invest in Singapore’s M1

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by April 25, 2017 General

Top shareholders in Singapore telecoms company M1 Ltd have approached potential buyers China Mobile and global private equity firms, among others, to sell their combined majority stake in the company, sources familiar with the matter said over the weekend.

If China Mobile acquires M1, it would mark its biggest overseas foray. The world’s largest mobile operator bought an 18 percent stake in Thailand’s True Corp in 2014 after buying Pakistan telecoms operator Paktel in 2007.

Shares in China Mobile were down 1.25 percent to HK$ 82.8 ($10.65) on Monday’s closing.

The three main shareholders of Singapore’s smallest listed telecoms player, which own a combined 61 percent, announced a strategic review of their investments last month. They did not give a reason behind the review of their stake in the S$1.9 billion ($1.36 billion) company.

The sources said that the three shareholders – Malaysia’s Axiata Group, Singapore Press Holdings and Keppel Telecommunications & Transportation  – have also contacted other telecoms companies, cash-rich business groups in China and Japanese technology companies to gauge their interest.

State-owned China Mobile, as well as China Unicom Hong Kong and China Telecom Corp  are pursuing expansion plans beyond China.

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