Speaking on Radio Algerienne’s Chaine III on 16 February, Benhamadi said that the company would develop using its own resources.

He ruled out the sale of a minority stake as well as the possibility of full privatisation.

The Algerian authorities have spent years preparing Algerie Telecom for sale.

France Telecom, Etisalat from the UAE and Kuwait’s Zain have all expressed an interest in acquiring a stake in Algerie Telecom in the past.

The state-owned company is by far the largest fixed-line operator in Algeria and its mobile phone division Mobilis is the country’s second largest. Djezzy, which is owned by Egypt’s Orascom Telecom, is the largest mobile operator and Nedjma, part of Qatar’s Qtel, is the third largest.