Guyana phone boss in the dark about new Chinese owners
GT&T CEO looking for answers regarding recent deal that transferred majority ownership to Chinese company.
GEORGETOWN, Guyana, Thursday May 16, 2012 – Reporters attending a press conference at the Guyana Telephone and Telegraph Company (GT&T) head office this week hoping to get answers about new majority owners Datang Telecom Technology and Industry Group soon learnt that they were not the only ones with questions.
GT&T Chief Executive Officer, Yog Mahadeo, revealed to reporters that the Guyanese company was not consulted about the recent sale of government’s 20% shares in it to a foreign company.
Government recently announced approval of a US$30 million sale of its stake in GT&T shares to the Beijing-based Chinese company, Datang Telecom Technology and Industry Group.
Mahadeo said that prior to the sale, GT&T had offered government to help with the disposal of the shares but, government did not take up the offer of GT&T’s help, and now that Datang had entered the mix, it was not clear
“Personally, I remain concerned that any major investor would want to invest in a company and would not want to have discourse… a discussion… or anything with management. I cannot sit on the minds of potential shareholders or the current shareholders to say that this is what they would want or how they would approach it,” Mahadeo told reporters.
Formed in 1998, Datang engages in the development and sale of various products in the areas of microelectronics, software, access, terminals, and communication application and service in China and internationally.
During the press conference at the GT&T’s Brickdam head office, Mahadeo also said that he has received reports of at least one unlicenced company illegally selling bandwidth.
Currently, GT&T has the monopoly on overseas calls and landlines based on an agreement it had signed with the People’s National Congress administration since the early 1990s.
While government has for years been stating that it is moving to open up the telecoms market, legislation to liberalise the sector was pulled from parliament at the last minute last year.
However, according to Mahadeo, GT&T has learnt that one company is selling bandwidth, although no new licences have been issued to do so and a number of call centres have reportedly been called by that company, inviting them to buy bandwidth.