The Higher Council for Privatization (HCP) has activated private telecom law number 431, in a June 5 Cabinet meeting, calling for the establishment of Liban Telecom. The HCP is headed by the Prime Minister. The decision was taken along with the secretary General of the HCP, Ziad Hayek.
Hayek said that this was a bold initiative taken by the Minister of Telecoms. “Establishing Liban Telecom and launching its official operations will boost the telecom sector, and also the Beirut Stock Exchange and the whole economy.”
Liban Telecom will be established through the merger of the operations of Ogero (a semi-public contractor and service provider) and two directorates of the Ministry of Telecommunications. The new company would be an integrated telecoms operator providing fixed and mobile telephony, local and international communication, voice and data access, and other telecoms services.
In 2005, the Council of Ministers adopted Decree 13944, approving the by-laws of Liban Telecom and its creation as a joint stock company (S.A.L.) for a period of 99 years.
Studies will be launched to evaluate the assets which will be transferred to Liban Telecoms from the Ministry of Telecoms and Ogero. Studies will also prepare structural, financial, and legal reports. “This phase of preparation will take around seven to eight months.” He said that these studies were already prepared in 2008, and need some updates.
After this phase, a report will be presented to the Ministry of Telecoms and to the Cabinet, which will decide if and when to launch the company.
Hayek said: “We cannot announce any future plan yet, before reaching the official decision about launching the company.”