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France's Orange submits interest for stake in Ethio Telecom - official

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FILE PHOTO: The logo of French telecom operator Orange at the headquarters in Issy-les-Moulineaux

ADDIS ABABA (Reuters) -France's telecom firm Orange has submitted an expression of interest to participate in the ongoing partial privatisation of Ethiopia's Ethio Telecom firm, Ethiopia's ambassador to Paris said on Twitter on Tuesday.

Henok Teferra Shawl said in a tweet Orange had "formally submitted interest to participate in the partial privatisation of @ethiotelecom."

Last month, Ethiopia launched a tendering process for the proposed sell-off of a 40% stake in the state-owned carrier Ethio Telecom to private investors, part of the government's broader plan to open up the Horn of Africa country's economy.

The telecoms business in Ethiopia, a country with a population of more than 100 million people and one of the region's biggest economies, is considered lucrative and is expected to draw significant investor interest.

As part of the process to open up the telecoms sector in May authorities handed out the first private operator licence to a consortium led by Kenya's Safaricom, Vodafone, and Japan's Sumitomo.

Ethio Telecom reported an 18.4% rise in full-year revenue to end-June to 56.5 billion birr ($1.29 billion).

(Reporting by Dawit Endeshaw; Writing by Elias Biryabarema, Editing by Louise Heavens)