Telstra eyes Asian opportunity

Telco’s leading execs tour region as David Thodey says he wants to grow in Asia.

Several of Telstra’s (TLS) most prominent executives have reportedly been meeting in Asia over recent days as the telco’s boss, David Thodey, outlined plans to stay in the region in the long-term.

In December, Telstra netted a profit of $600 million on the sale of its majority stake in Hong Kong mobiles business CSL, but Mr Thodey said that was not a sign of an exit strategy in the region.

“We’ve always had a very positive view towards the Asian market,” he told CNBC in an interview.

“We remain very positive about our presence in Asia and will continue to take a long-term view."

Mr Thodey said Telstra had been in Asia for 60 years and planned to be there “another couple of hundred years”, with long-term growth the focus.

He also struck an optimistic tone about the company’s mobiles business in Australia, saying he remained “very confident” the firm would continue to outdo much of its competition even if its recent growth rates were unlikely to be sustained.

The comments come as Telstra holds board and customer meetings in Jakarta and Singapore, according to The Australian Financial Review, with Mr Thodey, chair Catherine Livingstone, chief financial officer Andy Penn and several other leading executives in attendance.

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