Euro Bank Will Invest Claims Armentel Director

YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–The Armentel Communications sale to the Greek OTE Telecom company should have positive consequences–as advanced ideas of foreign management will come to Armenia together with investment allowing Armentel get rid of its bureaucratic policies–Armentel Director Vahram Soghomonian told Noyan Tapan.

He noted that the due investment would not only change the quality of the telephone net but also help create new jobs in other field–such as construction.

According to Soghomonian–it is also very important that the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development join OTE’s deal with Armentel–since it will be beneficial to both Armentel and Armenia in general to have the European Bank as an investor and not as a creditor.

Armentel will become a company of European level providing services up to European standards," Soghomonian said.

According to him–there are tendencies in the world of purchase of small telecommunication companies by larger ones. The Baltic States and Hong Kong sold their telecommunications to foreign companies over the recent years–while the American MCI TV Company has just recently been sold.

As to the remaining 10 percent of the company’s shares held by the government–according to Soghomonian–there aren’t any clear-cut programs yet. There were several proposals to sell them with a discount to the Armentel staff–but no concrete decisions on that account have been made yet.

Soghomonian dismissed concerns in connection to the sale–contending that the sale of the country’s only telecommunications company will not jeopardize national security issues and operations.

According to him–everything has been taken into consideration–and nothing of strategic significance will be sold to non-Armenian companies. "Armenia’s national interests will not be undermined–since the above-mentioned systems have its own telephone nets," he said.

Speaking about possible changes in his position following the privatization of Armentel–Soghomonian said he hoped he would still continue in his current position.

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