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Malaysia's Axiata and India's Bharti to merge subsidiaries

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 28 (Reuters) - Axiata Group Bhd, Malaysia's largest mobile operator by market value, and Bharti Airtel Ltd, India's largest telecom operator by subscribers, agreed to merge their subsidiaries in Bangladesh, said Axiata on Thursday.

The merger of Robi Axiata Limited and Airtel Bangladesh Limited, components of the respective companies, will create an entity called Robi. The deal is expected to be completed by the first half of 2016, said a press statement by Axiata.

Axiata will hold a 68.3 percent stake in Robi, while Bharti will hold 25 percent. The remaining 6.7 percent stake will be held by existing Japanese shareholder NTT DOCOMO. (Reporting by Emily Chow; Editing by Katharine Houreld)