According to newspaper reports, Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited (MTNL) is planning to list its internal subsidiary, Millennium Telecom on the NASDAQ.
MTNL (FY99 Revenues: Rs 52.47 bn), a public sector company, is a franchise of the Department of Telecom. The company has a 15-year telecom license to operate in New Delhi and Mumbai until the year 2013.
MTNL currently derives under 10% of its revenues from information technology and related businesses. It plans to raise the contribution of this segment to 25% by 2002. The company is aggressively pursuing its Internet ambitions and there has also been some talk about the acquisition of a software firm.
The decision to go in for a listing on the NASDAQ (for Millennium) will give MTNL access to the largest capital market in the world. This would enable it to raise resources to fund its capital expenditure on building Internet infrastructure. Further a part of the funds could be used to market its products. Currently the company has under 30,000 subscribers for its Internet services as compared to Satyam Infoway, which has over 125,000 subscribers.
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