January 29, 2013 / 3:57 PM / 6 years ago

Bharti Airtel bids for Myanmar licence - sources

A Bharti Airtel advertisement board is installed against the backdrop of company's telecommunication tower in Kochi November 30, 2012. REUTERS/Sivaram V/Files

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - Bharti Airtel Ltd(BRTI.NS), India’s top mobile phone operator, has bid for a telecoms licence in Myanmar as part of plans to expand in overseas markets, two sources with direct knowledge of the matter said.

The Myanmar government earlier this month invited expressions of interest for two mobile phone licences - a first step towards increasing mobile penetration from 5-10 percent to 80 percent in three years.

The deadline for submitting bids was last Friday.

“We are always open to opportunities provided there is a strategic fit and the market offers significant potential,” Bharti Airtel said in a statement, without confirming or denying that it has bid for a licence.

The world’s fourth-biggest mobile phone operator by number of subscribers, Bharti also operates in Sri Lanka and Bangladesh in South Asia and 17 African countries.

Reporting by Devidutta Tripathy; Editing by Helen Massy-Beresford

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