Bahrain Telecommunications Company, or Batelco, is the leading telecommunications operator in Bahrain, Jordan, Yemen and Kuwait. The stock trades on the Bahrain Stock Exchange under the ticker "BATELCO".
The Bahraini telecom market is well developed and highly competitive, with mobile penetration higher than 140%. There is strong competition in the domestic market. Batelco's overseas expansion, through strategic acquisitions and joint ventures, is helping it sustain top-line and bottom-line growth.
A key long-term growth driver will be its focus on growth opportunities through acquisitions in the North African and Asian markets. Given the higher per capita income in the regions Batelco operates, the increased uptake of value-added services (such as broadband and mobile content) will power growth going forward. During the first half of 2010, the company's active mobile subscriber base expanded 47% to 6.9 million, and broadband Internet users jumped 54% to 230,600. The stock is trading at over 8 times its estimated 2010 earnings.