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MTN Could See $1 Billion Boost from Lifting of Iran Sanctions

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South Africa based MTN expects to be able to transfer around USD1 billion in profits from its Iranian subsidiary if and when sanctions against Iran are relaxed.

International sanctions are expected to be relaxed over the next few months following a deal over the country's nuclear programme. If confirmed, then MTN's 49% stake in Irancell could see a sizeable windfall for the company.

"We have in total an equivalent of about $1bn, which is both a loan repayment from Irancell due back to MTN, as well as accumulated dividends," Nik Kershaw, head of investor relations at MTN told the Reuters news agency.

"The lifting of the sanctions would then allow us to start to repatriate some of the money."

Sanctions were imposed in 2006, which blocked MTN from repatriating any funds from the Iranian subsidiary. The move came just after MTN was granted the license in the country following the cancellation of a license awarded to Turkcell.

The remaining 51% of Irancell is owned and controlled by Iran Electronic Development Company (IEDC).

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Tags: mtn  irancell  Iran