South Africa’s MTN Group has confirmed plans that it will withdraw from Syria having lost control of its business there, TechCentral writes. MTN Syria was placed under judicial guardianship in February this year over allegations that it had violated the terms of its licence, with the Syrian courts subsequently appointing the chairman of TeleInvest – MTN Group’s partner in the business, with a minority shareholding – to manage day-to-day operations at the cellco.
As such, the group explained in its interim report: ‘On loss of control, the group recognised its 75% shareholding in MTN Syria as a financial instrument at fair value. Given the appointment of the judicial guardian and the related shift of power from the majority shareholder to the judicial guardian, the fair value of the shares was determined to be negligible. Subsequently, the group has decided to initiate a process to exit Syria.’
MTN Group CEO Ralph Mupita was quoted as describing operating in Syria as ‘intolerable’, and that the group reserved its rights to seek redress through international legal processes.