MTN Group is selling its 75% stake in MTN Syria as part of its strategy to exit the Middle East in an orderly manner.
The company informed investors on Thursday that it was focusing its strategy in future on the African markets:
“As part of our ongoing portfolio review, we believe the group is best served to focus in the future on our pan-African strategy,” said Rob Shuter, MTN CEO.
“We will therefore be exiting the Middle East in an orderly manner over the medium term. As a first step we are in advanced discussions to sell our 75% stake in MTN Syria.”
MTN also owns stakes in MTN Irancell (49% stake), MTN Afghanistan (100%), MTN Sudan (85% stake), MTN South Sudan (100% stake) and MTN Yemen 82.8% stake.
In 2019, the MENA region had 72,9 million mobile subscribers and 28,9 million data users.
Prolonged war and conflicts are impacting Syria, Yemen, Afghanistan and South Sudan,
making operations in these countries difficult. US-Iran tensions have increased
Sudan experienced a significant political change with a new military-civilian governing council taking over.
In Iran, the collapse of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), deepening sanctions and confrontations with the US have increased pressure on the economy and industry.
The JCPOA is a detailed, 159-page agreement with five annexes reached by Iran and the P5+1 (China France, Germany, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States) on July 14, 2015. The nuclear deal was endorsed by UN Security Council Resolution 2231, adopted on July 20, 2015. Iran’s compliance with the nuclear-related provisions of the JCPOA will be verified by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) according to certain requirements set forth in the agreement. On May 8, 2018, President Trump announced that the United States would withdraw from the JCPOA and reinstate U.S. nuclear sanctions on the Iranian regime.