* Says Cambodia non-core
* Aims to raise stake in Ncell to around 73 percent
STOCKHOLM, April 5 (Reuters) - Sweden-based telecoms firm TeliaSonera said on Thursday it has sold its stake in Cambodian telecoms operator Smart Mobile and in a related move boosted its holding instead in Nepal’s biggest mobile firm, Ncell.
Telia said it had agreed to sell its 18.6 percent stake in Smart Mobile in Cambodia to a group of local partners and at the same time has signed a deal with the same group to increase its stake in Ncell to around 73 percent from the current 60.4 percent.
“Ncell has become the number one mobile operator in Nepal, and today’s agreement gives us the possibility to further increase our ownership in this highly successful operation when local regulations allow for increased foreign ownership in Nepal,” the company said in a statement.
The company did not give any financial details, but said the deal would have no effect on its profit and loss account.
Outside its core Nordic markets, Telia has holdings in the Baltics, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Moldova and Azerbaijan among other markets.
With its European markets mature, Telia’s growth has increasingly come from its Eurasian portfolio and the company has been focusing on getting operative control of its investments.
In December it paid $1.5 billion to increase its stake in Kcell in Kazakhstan to around 62 percent.
Eurasia made up around 17 percent of Telia’s sales in 2011 and around 24 percent of core profit. (Reporting by Simon Johnson; Editing by Greg Mahlich)