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Egypt's Global Telecom books in cost of Algerian settlement

Company restates last year results to include $2 bn writedown after settlement with Algerian government over disputed Djezzy unit

Reuters, Friday 23 May 2014
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Egypt's Global Telecom has restated its results for last year, increasing its net loss to 20 billion Egyptian pounds ($2.81 billion) from a previously reported $924-million after booking in the costs of settling a long running dispute with Algeria over ownership of local telecoms operator Djezzy.

Last month Global Telecom, previously called Orascom Telecom and 51.9 percent-owned by Russian-controlled telecoms group Vimpelcom, sold a 51 percent stake in Orascom Telecom Algeria, known as Djezzy, to the Algerian National Investment Fund for $2.6 billion in a deal which Vimpelcom said would leave it with 49 percent of Djezzy but result in a $2 billion writedown.

The dispute with the Algerian government over Djezzy's ownership dated back to before Vimpelcom bought into Orascom Telecom in 2010, as part of a wider $6 billion deal to acqure Egyptian tycoon Naguib Sawiris's various telecoms interests.

Global Telecom also said in a bourse statement on Thursday the net loss last year compared with a loss of 1.29 billion Egyptian pounds ($181 million) in 2012.

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