MTN could offload Syrian unit, other ‘conflict markets’

9 Mar 2018

South Africa’s MTN Group may exit markets that are not ‘self-funding’ as CEO Rob Shuter embarks on a review of its international portfolio. In a separate interview with BusinessTech.co.za, CFO Ralph Mupita named Syria, Afghanistan, Yemen and South Sudan as markets that are likely to come under review. MTN will not invest in countries it classes as ‘conflict markets’, which means the local units have to be cash-flow positive to stay in business. Mr Mupita told the news site: ‘If the markets are able to return to a non-conflict situation they could be attractive to us. Syria, for instance, was one of our top ten markets not so long ago.’

On a more positive note, Mupita named a handful of markets in which it is keen to explore future opportunities, noting: ‘We will certainly look at Angola and also Ethiopia, if it opened up for a licence. There are a couple of countries in West Africa that we could look at, like Togo and Senegal.’

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