South African telecom giant MTN denies plans to exit Iran
South African telecom giant MTN Group, Africa's largest mobile operator, says there are no immediate plans to exit from Iran and the 51.7 million customers in the Islamic Republic could rely on continuing to receive the great service they have come to expect from the operator.
MTN, which is headquartered in Johannesburg, announced earlier in August that its board of directors had decided that the company would be best served in the future by focusing on its pan-African strategy.
As a result, it would look to dispose of its operations in the Middle East in an orderly manner over the medium term, which is over the next three to five years.
The group is in advanced talks to divest of its stake in MTN Syria. Next, it will look to reach agreement to dispose of its operations in Afghanistan and Yemen. Among reasons for divesting from the region is the loss of revenue due to falling regional currencies and the Middle East’s volatile geopolitics, MTN CEO Rob Shuter said.
The telecom company said close collaboration between MTN Group and MTN Irancell – in which the group has a minority 49% investment shareholding – will continue as it is, and business will be run as usual.