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UAE’s Etisalat says had no part in India telco scandal

UAE firm says will stay in Indian market.

February 9, 2011 11:46 by

UAE telecoms firm Etisalat  reiterated on Wednesday that it had no involvement in a telecoms corruption scandal in India that saw an executive at its joint venture arrested on allegations of wrongdoing.

The vice-chairman of Etisalat DB, a joint venture between India’s DB Group and Etisalat, was arrested over allegations that two Indian firms got favourable treatment when 2G spectrum licences were awarded in 2008.

Etisalat, which owns an approximately 45 percent stake in the venture, has maintained that it bought the stake in the firm, then called Swan, after the licence had been applied for and granted.

“Etisalat had no involvement whatsoever in the UAS licence application process,” it said in an emailed statement.

“It is a subsequent external investor … which purchased its stake in the company on the bona fide belief that the licences have been validly granted.”

The Abu Dhabi-based firm said it was committed to India and would not withdraw from the country, the world’s fastest growing mobile market.

Etisalat shares were up 0.5 percent at 0750 GMT on the Abu Dhabi bourse.

(Reporting by Amran Abocar; Editing by Dinesh Nair)

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