Iran’s efforts to remove US-led sanctions from its economy could allow MTN Group to repatriate about R2.8-billion from the country, according to people familiar with the matter.
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MTN Group is considering selling its stake in Iran’s ride-hailing app Snapp as it trims its e-commerce portfolio and plans an exit of the Middle East.
MTN Group will exit its operations in the Middle East to become an Africa-only-focused telecommunications operator, CEO Rob Shuter announced on Thursday.
MTN Group said it is implementing cost control measures, focusing on mission critical expenses and enhanced oversight of expenditure, amid uncertainty over the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
MTN Group said its Iranian business is still able to achieve strong sales growth in the short term, even as the unit battles to overcome ongoing US sanctions and the rapid spread of the coronavirus.
Rob Shuter’s announcement that he will not seek to extend his contract as MTN Group CEO a year before it ends will allow the board enough time to pick a suitable candidate.
MTN has opted over the years to enter parts of the world seen as too risky by many other carriers. That’s left it vulnerable to legal entanglements, unpredictable politics and regulatory crackdowns.
South African police arrested a former ambassador to Iran on corruption charges related to the award of a mobile phone licence to MTN Group after it was initially given to Turkcell.
MTN Group on Wednesday confirmed reports that three senior managers have been arrested and deported by the Ugandan government.
MTN Group remains on track to report a total 2018 dividend of R5/share, despite “continued challenges in repatriating funds from MTN Irancell”, it said in notes alongside interim results for the six months to 30 June.