France Telecom in Qatar JV - Analyst Blog

By Zacks | January 10, 2013 AAA

The business affiliate of France Telecom (FTE) - Orange Business Services - has agreed to set up its operating arm in Qatar through a joint venture. Orange, in partnership with Sheikh Fahad Bin Ghanem [Al Abdul Rahman] Al Thani, will launch the subsidiary company EGN LLC.

Orange Business Services aims to capture the market opportunities in Information and Communications Technology (ICT) in Qatar through the newly formed business unit. This most recent project of the company in the Middle East and Africa (MEA) is the very first one to be associated with large systems integration programs and operations. In recent times, the upcoming market of MEA is attracting a lot of foreign companies that are trying to capitalize on the business prospects of the region.

A team of higher-ranking and efficient professionals including program directors, senior architects, project managers, subject matter specialists, and operations' directors will be employed for the office. The personnel will work toward designing and building various ventures in oil and gas, the government sector, telecom company systems integrators, new cities and large infrastructure projects.

The majority shareholder of the joint venture - Sheikh Fahad Bin Ghanem - remains highly optimistic about this step that is expected to aid in developing high-class ICT infrastructure in the nation as well as provide a facelift to the economic scenario of the country via new technology and multifarious integration capability.

Qatar, which has already started working with high quality ICT systems for e-government and border security, expects to blend the technology with the knowledge and skills of France Telecom-Orange.

Management of Orange Business Services displayed its pleasure over this alliance. The company expects to strengthen its footing in the Middle East through numerous activities and enhance its profitability level. Last year, the company started a new local company in Saudi Arabia. Orange Business Services targets to witness revenue of ¬1 billion by 2015 from the various strategic initiatives applied in the territory.

France Telecom - which entered into a strategic agreement with Akamai Technologies (AKAM) in November 2012 - currently, holds a Zacks Rank #3, implying a short-term Hold rating.

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