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