Orascom: No cash dividends for 2009

28 Apr 2010

(MENAFN) Egypt’s Orascom Telecom said that it will not pay a cash dividend for 2009, as it retains its funds to fight a tax bill in Algeria, Reuters reported.

Orascom raised $800 million through a rights issue finalized in March to ensure sufficient liquidity as it challenges the $597 million tax bill plus penalties in Algerian courts.

The company has paid the full amount in addition to $49 million in penalties, but still has one of three appeals pending in courts. Djezzy, the firm’s Algerian unit, is the focus of sale talks with South Africa’s MTN, according to a government source.

Algeria has banned the operator from transferring profit out of the country, though Orascom said in September that it would be permitted to repatriate half its 2008 Djezzy dividends.

The telecom firm paid a cash dividend equivalent to 0.20 Egyptian pounds per share in August 2009 and June 2008.

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