MTN to exit Middle East, focus on Africa

Middle East

Johnson Okafor

MTN Group says it will exit the Middle East in the medium term, starting with the sale of its 75 per cent stake in MTN Syria as part of plans to focus on Africa.

As reported by Reuters News on Thursday, MTN is in advanced talks to sell the stake in MTN Syria to TeleInvest, which holds the other 25 per cent of the business.

The Group President and Chief Executive Officer, Rob Shuter, told media on a conference call as the firm reported its half-year results.

The company reported headline earnings per share, which more than doubled in the first half to 430 cents, beating analyst estimates of 271 cents.

Service revenue rose 9.4 per cent on strong demand for data and financial and digital services during the coronavirus lockdown.

Shuter said MTN had good positioning in its Middle East markets but was a very small contributor in a very complex environment.

“We felt we were best served in the medium term to rather focus our energies in our core African markets that are closer to home,” he said.

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