GrameenPhone

DHAKA, Oct 19, 2006 (AFP) – Bangladesh’s top mobile phone company, GrameenPhone, is mulling whether to list itself on the stock market, a report said Thursday. GrameenPhone (GP), majority owned by Norwegian telecom company Telenor, is Bangladesh’s biggest mobile phone company with over 9.5 million subscribers.

“We are in the process of analysing the option of how to be listed in the capital market,” the Dhaka-based New Age daily quoted GP chairman Arve Johanson as saying at a press briefing in Singapore on Wednesday.

The statement follows repeated government pleas to Bangladesh telecom companies to stage initial public offers (IPOs) and inject fresh momentum into the country’s two fledgling stock markets.

The country’s biggest, Dhaka Stock Market, is small compared to other regional bourses in Mumbai and Karachi.

This month its market capitalisation crossed four billion dollars.

Launched in 1997, GrameenPhone took over six years to sign up its first million users but has seen an exponential rise in subscribers since late 2003.

GrameenPhone now has more than 62 percent of the country’s 16 million mobile phone users and its network coverage