Kuwaiti owned Mobile Telecommunications Company Group (MTC), the largest GSM operator in the region, is to bid for the third GSM licence in Egypt . Mohamed Eid, MTC Country Manager Egypt, has stressed the advantage of winning the contract: employment opportunities for many Egyptians based on a high-quality local labour force.
In Mr Eid's opinion: "The Egyptian population is one of the most educated in the Arab world and we have employed a large number of Egyptian professionals in our various operations, whether in Kuwait , Bahrain , or elsewhere. If we enter Egypt as a mobile operator we will definitely be hiring local qualified telecoms professionals in Egypt .
"Our core human resources policy is to hire as many locals as possible. We have implemented this policy in Iraq , where we have 100% Iraqi employees, as in Jordan and in Lebanon . In Bahrain 85% of our employees are Bahrainis. If we win the upcoming third GSM licence in Egypt we will be implementing the same strategy and as such the vast majority of our employees will be Egyptian." While Egyptian telecoms is a fast-growing market, mobile penetration stands at 16%. MTC believes it can grow this market further with innovative and technologically advanced services. It has already spearheaded 3G technology, eg, in Bahrain .
For the nine months ending September 30, 2005 MTC posted consolidated revenues of US$1,355.1 million. A key factor in MTC's accounts is its acquisition last year of Celtel, which has operations in 14 countries in sub-Saharan Africa . Backed by such sound results, the company was able to raise more than US$ 2.32 billion from a rights issue in an offering approved by the shareholders on August 22, 2005. This money allowed MTC Group to repay the Celtel acquisition related debt, thereby improving the company?s bottom line while strengthening the company's balance sheet.
* MTC has 14 million customers spanning the Gulf, Middle East and Africa . In 2005 the Group acquired Celtel International for a total of US$3.4 billion, which firmly placed MTC in Africa . By winning the Egypt licence, MTC would geographically bridge the Middle East and Africa .