TELECOM DEREGULATION LEVELS FIELD IN FIJI

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SUVA, Fiji (Fijilive, Jan. 16, 2008) - The official signing of the Settlement Deed between Amalgamated Telecom Holdings Ltd and the Government will take place tomorrow at the Reserve Bank of Fiji, it has been confirmed. This will result in the deregulation of Fiji’s telecommunication industry.

Yesterday Communications Minister Tom Ricketts told fijilive.com that the Government and the telecom operators would be finalizing the details of the Settlement Deed.

"We hope to finalize everything on Thursday," he had said.

He had said that if everything went well, the deregulation of the industry would be announced on the day.

Meanwhile, the temporary suspension of trade on ATH shares is expected to be lifted once the announcement is made. The temporary suspension of ATH shares were announced late November.

ATH had said the suspension was necessary in order to quell speculation and allow for cooling down period following agreement in principle on the terms of settlement between government and the telecom industry for the deregulation of the telecom sector.

Last week, lawyers for the telecom operators (Telecom Fiji, FINTEL, Vodafone) and government met at the Holiday Inn in Suva over three days to finalise documentations in preparation for the eventual signing of the Settlement Deed.

The Settlement Deed was negotiated at the Radisson Hotel at Denarau early November. Following this, documentations had to be finalized.

The details are expected to be released once the Settlement Deed is signed.

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