MTN shares fall after Iran bribery, nuclear support claims

Shares of South Africa’s MTN Group tumbled nearly 4% in early trade on Friday, after it said it faces a potential lawsuit from Turkey’s Turkcell over its licence in Iran.

Shares of MTN, Africa’s largest mobile operator, were down 3.9% at R133 at 7.09am GMT.

MTN said after the close of trade on Thursday it faces a lawsuit from Turkcell, which claimed Africa’s largest telecom group asked South Africa to back Iran’s nuclear development in return for a cellular licence in the country.

The Johannesburg-based company said in a statement the Turkish mobile operator, which unsuccessfully bid for the same licence, will also claim that MTN asked South Africa to aid Iran’s military and that it bribed officials of both governments.

Turkcell plans to file the charges in a US court and the claim amount would be “material”, MTN said.

Officials for Turkcell were not immediately available for comment.

MTN said that none of the claims had been substantiated and the charges lacked legal merit.

MTN chairperson Cyril Ramaphosa, a leading member of the ruling African National Congress and a well known businessman, said in a separate statement the company would set up a special committee to investigate the charges.

“MTN has zero tolerance for corrupt and unethical business practices,” he said.

MTN, a $33-billion mobile company with operations in 21 countries across Africa and the Middle East, is one of South Africa’s most prominent companies.

MTN is a major player in Iran, where it has over 32-million subscribers and makes nearly 10% of its revenue.

Shares in the company have faced some selling in recent weeks on speculation that its business in Iran could be impacted by US sanctions.

But a spokesperson for MTN told Reuters last week that its operations in Iran were continuing as normal. — Reuters

Staff Reporter
Guest Author
Advertisting

Mkhwebane moves to halt ‘grossly unfair’ impeachment process

Mkhwebane moves to halt ‘grossly unfair’ impeachment process

Chaos theory: How Jürgen Klopp has harnessed the unpredictable

The Liverpool manager has his side playing unstoppable football but it’s the attention to detail off the field that has bred the success

Miners speak out against Sibanye

Not a year into buying Lonmin, Sibanye is accused of mistreating the mineworkers who were injured eight years ago during the Marikana massacre. But the platinum giant says it is a miscommunication. Athandiwe Saba and Paul Botes visit Marikana to find out the truth
Advertising

Press Releases

Wellcome Trust award goes to UKZN mental health champion

Dr Andr? J van Rensburg, a senior researcher in UKZN's Centre for Rural Health, received the Wellcome Trust Discretionary Award.

MTN gears up to deliver improved customer service

On 28 January, the first batch of MTN contract customers will be migrated onto the new customer service platform.

Request for expression of interest on analysis of quality and outcome indicators for regional and district hospitals in Lesotho

Introduction The Ministry of Health of Lesotho with the support of the World Bank funded Nutrition and Health Systems Strengthening...

MiX Telematics enhances in-vehicle video camera solution

The company has launched the gold MiX Vision Bureau Service, which includes driver-coaching tools to ensure risky driver behaviour can be addressed proactively and efficiently.

Boosting safety for cargo and drivers

The use of a telematics system for fleet vehicles has proved to be an important tool in helping to drive down costs and improve efficiency, says MiX Telematics Africa.

Silencing the guns and firearms amnesty

Silencing the guns and firearms amnesty

Gender-based violence is an affront to our humanity

Gender-based violence is an affront to our humanity

UK-Africa investment summit 2020: Think Africa Invest SA

UK-Africa investment summit 2020: Think Africa Invest SA