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MTN in talks to repatriate Iran funds

Aug 08 2012 12:55 Reuters

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Johannesburg - MTN Group [JSE:MTN] is talks with US and South African authorities over repatriating earnings from its Iranian business, the chief executive of the South African mobile operator said on Wednesday.

Sifiso Dabengwa also told reporters following the release of the company’s first-half earnings that MTN had not repatriated any funds from Iran in the last six to seven months.

MTN owns 49% of local operator MTN Irancell. The company has said in the past it was having difficulty moving money out of the country due to tightening US sanctions against Tehran.   

MTN chief financial officer Nazir Patel said a devaluation of the Iranial rial could have a "severe impact" on MTN group's second-half earnings.

Patel made the comment at a presentation following the release of the company's first-half results.

The Iranian rial has tumbled against the US dollar in free market dealings as traders have anticipated a devaluation in the official exchange rate.

The rial has been under pressure this year because of international sanctions against Iran's economy imposed over its disputed nuclear programme.

MTN reported a 14% increase in first-half profit on Wednesday, as solid growth in South Africa, Iran and Ghana helped it overcome tougher competition its key Nigerian market.

 
irancell  |  mtn group
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