Telenor ASA, the largest phone company in Nordic region, is in talks with the government on possibility of raising its stake in DiGi.Com Bhd.

Telenor Asia CEO - Sigve Brekke

Telenor owned 61 percent of DiGi a few years ago, but forced to sell a 10.2 percent of the stake to Time dot-Com Bhd in 2007 to comply with new foreign shareholding rule.

Time bought the shares for a whooping RM1.61 billion.

“We urged government to reconsider the ceiling for foreign ownership,” Telenor Asia chief executive officer Sigve Brekke told Business time in a recent interview.

Saying the company is still interested in raising its stake in the country third largest telecommunications company if the rule will be relaxed again.

Brekke, who is also chairman of DiGi said opening foreign ownership in the telecommunication industry will ultimately benefit the consumers.

He said it will encourage more investments into the country, create more competition in the telecommunication industry – which would lead to cheaper, better services to consumer.

Telenor entered Malaysia telecommunication industry in late 1999, when its bought a 30 percent stake at DiGi for RM788 million or about RM5.25 per share.

In June 25, 2001 Telenor increased its ownership of DiGi to 61 percent for RM1.4 billion.