You are currently viewing our desktop site, do you want to download our app instead?
Moneyweb Android App Moneyweb iOS App Moneyweb Mobile Web App

NEW SENS search and JSE share prices

More about the app

MTN is said to be in talks with buyers for Afghani wireless unit

A bid to accelerate plans to exit the country, according to people familiar with the matter.
Image: Bloomberg

MTN Group is in talks with potential international buyers for its wireless business in Afghanistan, a bid to accelerate plans to exit the country, according to people familiar with the matter.

Africa’s biggest mobile-phone operator, the market leader in Afghanistan with a 40% share, is in discussions with several parties, said the people, who asked not be identified as the negotiations are ongoing.

Moneyweb Insider INSIDERGOLD

Subscribe for full access to all our share and unit trust data tools, our award-winning articles, and support quality journalism in the process.

Choose an option:

R63 per month
R630 per year SAVE R126

You will be redirected to a checkout page.
To view all features and options, click here.

A monthly subscription is charged pro rata, based on the day of purchase. This is non-refundable and includes a R5 once-off sign-up fee.
A yearly subscription is refundable within 14 days of purchase and includes a 365-day membership.

Click here for more information.

MTN announced just over a year ago a plan to exit countries in the Middle East over the medium term, enabling the Johannesburg-based company to focus on African markets. The carrier has since abandoned its operation in Syria, citing regulatory demands that made operating there untenable, though said last month it’s still evaluating options in Yemen and Afghanistan.

The carrier declined to comment on market speculation.

Telecom companies operating in Afghanistan, which also includes Etisalat of the United Arab Emirates, have reassured customers and investors they are keeping services running following the collapse of the US-backed government last month, while trying to secure the safety of their employees in the country.

The Taliban unveiled a new government on Tuesday, and have said investments from China will be essential to rebuilding an economy ravaged by 20 years of war. Internet penetration in the country is still low at 22%, while just over a third of the population had mobile-phone connections at the start of the year, according to analysis by DataReportal.

None of the potential bidders are currently from China, the people said.

MTN shares have been on a tear this year, more than doubling in value. The stock traded 2.4% lower as of 4:08 p.m. in Johannesburg on Wednesday.

A writedown of MTN’s Afghanistan business without any proceeds from a disposal would cost about R700 million ($49 millon), the people said. Other operators in the country include state-owned Afghan Wireless and Roshan, a joint venture between Monaco Telecom SAM and a Swiss development agency, as well as Etisalat.

© 2021 Bloomberg

COMMENTS   2

Sort by:
  • Oldest first
  • Newest first
  • Top voted

You must be signed in to comment.

SIGN IN SIGN UP

To be associated with a terrorist regime is never going to attract global investors. Get out now and set the trend.

I suspect this one will be an impairment at the next set of results.

Maybe the share price will jump to R200 now.

How do you sell your business to the Taliban?

Hard negotiations.

End of comments.

LATEST CURRENCIES  

USD / ZAR
GBP / ZAR
EUR / ZAR
BTC / USD

Podcasts

INSIDER SUBSCRIPTIONS APP VIDEOS RADIO / LISTEN LIVE SHOP OFFERS WEBINARS NEWSLETTERS TRENDING PORTFOLIO TOOL CPD HUB

Follow us: