Local telcos are ramping up outbound investments with big targets.
In 2012, military-run telecom group Viettel will strive to achieve over 50 per cent revenue growth in foreign markets parallel to setting footholds in four highly populated new countries.
This would mean by the end of 2012, the total population in Viettel’s overseas markets could double Vietnam’s population.
In 2011, it raked in approximately $500 million revenue from its overseas markets and around $70 million in after-tax profits from Laos and Cambodian markets, the latter represents eight-fold increase over 2010.
“The local market is currently a ‘tight shirt’, hence to bolster development it is important to stretch tentacles to overseas markets which would provide long-term foundations for the research and manufacturing of information and communications technology equipment and technology,” said Viettel’s deputy general director Nguyen Manh Hung.
Hung said Viettel would strive to having 100 million local and around 500 million overseas subscribers by 2015.
Viettel’s current subscriber pool amounts to around 100 million and is expected to double by the end of 2012.
The telco is reportedly working on a plan to build a telecom network in western Africa’s Mali with $270 million in total investment.
Like Viettel, leading state-owned telco group VNPT is also bent on increasing footprints in foreign markets. Towards this goal, the group plans to transfer its stake in VNPT Global which was founded in 2008 by three shareholders VNPT, MobiFone and VNPost to MobiFone to focus resources on scaling up outbound investments.
According to VNPT’s deputy general director Phan Hoang Duc, the group would grow its presence in overseas markets through business cooperation contracts and forming joint ventures with foreign partners on terminal equipment manufacturing.
“The move needs to be taken with great discretion to avoid catching losses during the investment process,” said Duc.
Besides these two giants, many other telcos are also mulling spreading their arms to foreign markets like FPT, VMC or VTC Online.
FPT, also a big promising telco group, has just founded FPT Nigeria to boost trading in the production and supply of software products and services and scaling up training activities in Nigeria. Besides, the group recently reached a cooperation agreement with US-based Intel on equipment manufacturing in Africa.
Vietnam Investment Review