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Bosnian Serbs again extend deadline for Telekom Srpske bids

The Bosnian Serb government, which is selling a controlling stake in Telekom Srpske, extended a deadline for accepting offers for a second time.

Telenor ASA, Telekom Austria AG and other potential bidders have to put in bids by November 20, from an earlier deadline of November 3, said Slavica Skoro, a spokeswoman for the Banja Luka-based privatization agency. Several bidders requested more time „to get acquainted” with Telekom Srpske, she said today. France Telecom SA, Deutsche Telekom AG's Magyar Telekom Nyrt unit, Novator of Iceland and Serbia's state-run Telekom Srbija have also purchased tender documents, Skoro said. The Bosnian Serb government had originally set an October 4 deadline.

The Republika Srpska is selling its 65% stake in Banja Luka-based Telekom Srpske to investors to open up its economy as it seeks closer ties with the European Union. The sale comes after Serbia's government sold Mobi 63, a mobile-phone operator, to Telenor for $1.9 billion in July. OAO Mobile TeleSystems, eastern Europe's largest mobile-phone company and a unit of Russia's AFK Sistema, said October 24 that it won't bid for Telekom Srpske. The Russian company had purchased the tender documents. (Bloomberg)