MTN mum on Irancell

Mobile operator, MTN Group (MTN), is currently investigating a potential claim by Turkcell, and allegations made against the group – but will not make any further comments.

In February, MTN advised that Turkcell Iletisim Hizmetlera AS (Turkcell) , which was unsuccessful in attaining the second GSM telecommunications licence in Iran, was looking to bring a case against the group in a US court.

MTN, which owns 49% of Irancell – the group that was awarded the 2nd Iranian GSM licence – said that it had been informed by Turkcell that it believes it has a claim against MTN and its relevant subsidiary.

This, arising out of the award of the 2nd GSM Licence, based on alleged violations of United States laws, and has indicated an intention to bring such a claim before a United States court.

Turkcell claimed that MTN had asked South Africa to support Iran’s nuclear development in return for a license.

The Istanbul-based firm alleges that MTN made “improper payments to an Iranian and a South African government official,” during 2004 and 2005.

In releasing its annual results on Wednesday (March 7, 2012), MTN said in a statement:

“The MTN Group Board has proactively responded by setting up the independent Hoffmann Committee. This has already started its work. Until it has concluded its deliberations, MTN will not comment further.”

The group announced a 9.7% rise in revenue to R121.88 billion, due to sound growth in Nigeria, South Africa and Iran – of 4.1%, 7.7% and 20.1% respectively.

Headline earnings per share (HEPS) increased by 40.5% to 1 068,6 cents and adjusted HEPS by 43.2%, to 1 070,0 cents.

Group subscribers improved 16.2%, to 164.5 million, with MTN South Africa increasing its subscriber base by 16.9%, to 22 million.

The group declared a final dividend of 476cents.

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MTN mum on Irancell