• BEE winners and losers

    Creating real change and real jobs requires a new ideology, says Gerhard Papenfus.

  • Governance matters

    Addressing risk well and timeously can be a source of growth, says Ian Mann.

  • Road to riches

    Taxpayers keep funding structures with big plans but who knows what efficacy, says Mandi Smallhorne.

See More

US sanctions hurt MTN in Iran

Aug 12 2012 12:04 Edward-John Bottomley - Sake24

Related Articles

MTN in talks to repatriate Iran funds

MTN’s Liberia partner: Collusion claims

SA envoy in Iran probed over MTN

SA suspends ambassador linked to MTN

MTN 'was warned' over Iran

Growth in Iran, Ghana boosts MTN

Cape Town – US sanctions against Iran seems to be a thorn in MTN’s flesh, its latest interim results show.

Chief executive Sifiso Dabengwa admits that the South African telecommunications giant could for the past six months hardly bring a single cent out of Iran to South Africa.

MTN’s Iranian network is currently the second largest in the group and Iranians now comprise around 20% of its subscribers.

In the past six months the Iranian business has made a significant contribution to MTN’s profit. This division’s subscribers have increased by 10.4% and its turnover by 28.3%.

According to Dabengwa, MTN is engaged in negotiations with American officials about its business in Iran. “It's generally accepted that we should not be punished. US sanctions should not have unintended consequences for non-American companies.”

The sanctions against Iran could further harm MTN if that country’s currency, the rial, has to devalue as a result. The rial has recently done poorly against the dollar and Iran will make an announcement in this regard in the coming week.

The devaluation of the rial will have a serious impact on MTN’s earnings in the second half of the financial year, says finance director Nazir Patel.

The Turkcell court case is still hanging over MTN’s head. The company is being challenged in a US court over its operating licence in Iran. Turkcell, its Turkish competitor, accuses it of having bribed officials, including an ambassador, to get the licence. Turkcell is claiming $4.2bn in damages.

Turkcell’s allegations are also being investigated in South Africa by the Hawks, the police’s elite investigation unit.

MTN has instituted an independent investigation into the allegations through the Hoffmann commission. Reporting on its interims, MTN says the investigation is ongoing.

- Sake24

For more business news in Afrikaans, go to Sake24.com.

* Follow Fin24 on Facebook, Twitter and Google+.

mtn  |  turkcell  |  iran


Read Fin24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Company Snapshot

We're talking about:


Johannesburg has been selected to host the Global Entrepreneurship Congress in 2017. "[The congress] will ensure that small business development remains firmly on the national agenda and the radar screen of all stakeholders, the Small Business Development minister said.

Money Clinic

Money Clinic
Do you have a question about your finances? We'll get an expert opinion.
Click here...

Voting Booth

How will you manage Vodacom’s price hike for contracts?

Previous results · Suggest a vote