GOVERNMENT PHONE SERVICE GOING PRIVATE IN

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SAMOA
SamoaTel seeks investors

By Charlina Tone APIA, Samoa (Samoa Observer, Dec. 20, 2010) – SamoaTel presented the government with 5 million-tala [US$2 million] dividend on Thursday night.

The money was presented by the Minister of Communications and Information Technology, Safuneituuga Paaga Neri, to Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi during a function at Hotel Millennia in Apia.

Acting Chief Executive Officer Lealali Faletoese Asaua said Thursday’s gathering was a special one since the company is moving to the private sector in the "very near future".

"This will probably be our last function as a government-owned entity, he said. So we have taken the opportunity to thank all our shareholders and valued customers for their support throughout the years."

SamoaTel Chairman, Reverend Iutisone Salevao acknowledged all the supporters of the company.

"With the imminent privatization, the time is right to say thank you and goodbye to the government for entrusting governance and care of SamoaTel for the past six years," said Rev. Salevao.

Prime Minister Tuilaepa congratulated SamoaTel. He said the Unit Trust of Samoa (UTOS) is now open for any potential shareholders of SamoaTel.

UTOS was launched earlier this year.

In launching the Unit Trust earlier this year, the Prime Minister said Samoans now have an opportunity to invest in State Owned Enterprises such as SamoaTel.

He said the advantage of UTOS was that of a collective ownership rather than the company falling into overseas ownership or the hands of a rich few.

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