KIRIBATI MOVES TO TAKE FULL CONTROL OF LOCAL TELECOM

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TARAWA, Kiribati (May 2, 2001 – Radio Australia)---The Kiribati government has confirmed plans to buy the 49 percent Telstra Australia shareholding interest in the local telecom services carrier, Kiribati Limited.

The move to bring the Kiribati carrier into full government ownership follows the Australian company's decision to sell its minority stake in the joint venture and pull out of the Micronesian island nation.

While making money in urban areas, Kiribati Deputy Secretary for Information, Communication and Transport Riiteti Maninraka said Telstra Australia saw little value in serving the outer islands of Kiribati.

For additional reports from Radio Australia, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Radio/TV News/Radio Australia.

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