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Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Short Alert: Telenor on the launch pad.

When senior people start abandoning ship, my antennae goes into full listening mode:
Executive Vice President and Head of Telenor Broadcast, Stig Eide Sivertsen, has handed in his notice of resignation.
Prior to the expiry of his three year contract as CEO of Grameenphone, Mr Erik Aas has informed the Board of Directors that he will not extend his contract beyond this term. Mr. Aas will leave his position on October 1st 2007. The Grameenphone Board will appoint a new CEO in due time.
Mind you, who can blame Mr Aas given the current operating environment in Bangladesh?
The military-backed government imposed an indefinite curfew in six major cities Wednesday, clearing the streets and temporarily shutting down cellphones in a bid to quell three days of unrest by students demanding an end to emergency rule.

An official at the country's largest mobile operator, GrameenPhone, said the government ordered all cellphone service temporarily shut down.

The emergency was imposed in January when President Iajuddin Ahmed canceled scheduled elections, outlawed demonstrations, and curtailed press freedoms.
Bangladesh is not the Asian country where Telenor has problems:
Telenor has received a 12-month reprieve to cut its stake in DiGi from 61% to 49% until the end of this year. However, Telenor’s exact plans on the stake remain hazy. Earlier yesterday, newswire reports quoted Turman saying that it was still too early to determine if Telenor would deconsolidate DiGi in its accounting.
I’m not even going to mention the Altimo/Alfa dispute, where Telenor have about as much chance of winning as England has in retaining the Rugby World Cup.

If and when the CEO, Baksaas, leaves the building - all the shorting stars will be aligned…