Sunday, August 10, 2008

Why does Indonesia insist on keeping its directors at Indosat?

Indonesia has turned down a request by Qatar Telecom to replace the government-appointed directors at PT Indosat after the Qatari company bought a stake in the mobile-phone operator, Bisnis Indonesia reported.

The government will keep its five directors at Indosat, including President-Director Johnny Swandi Sjam, the newspaper reported, citing State Enterprises Minister Sofyan Djalil. Qatar Telecom may add their directors to the board, filling seats now held by Singapore Technologies Telemedia, he added.

Qatar Telecom bought 40.8 percent of Indosat in June from Asia Mobile Holdings, the Qatari company's venture with ST Telemedia. Asia Mobile placed four directors at Indosat, the newspaper said.

The Indonesian government owns 14.29 percent of Jakarta-based Indosat, Indonesia's second-biggest mobile-phone operator. The company will hold a shareholders meeting on Aug. 25.

Can Qatar Telecom maximize its control over Indosat despite the government's firm hold on the mobile-phone operator?