EU ban on palm oil could keep Telenor out of Indonesia

Norwegian telecommunication giant Telenor Group is trying to enter the Indonesian market by merging with the Indonesian company Axiata. Axiata holds 66.4 percent of the shares in PT XL Axiata Tbk which is the second largest mobile telecommunications company in Indonesia.

Not so fast, says Indonesia’s Minister of Communication and Information Technology, Rudiantara.

The EU parliament passed on 10 June 2019 a law that will restrict and ban palm oil usage in biofuel by 2030. Since Telenor originates from the EU, the merger should be scrutinised, she says.

“I cannot ignore the issue [of the EU ban on palm oil],” Rudiantara has told the media.

Norway is not a member of the EU but has several agreements with the EU that often makes it difficult for other nations to see the difference.

The ministry would also first have to look at the post-merger business plan in Indonesia of Telenor and Axiata, he said. It was therefore too early to comment on the merits of the merger.

 

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