MTN hammered again on $4.2 bln Turkcell lawsuit

Reuters, Monday 2 Apr 2012

Investor confidence in South African telecom operator damaged by corruption charges related to acquisition of Iranian cellular licence

Shares of South Africa's MTN Group fell more than 3 per cent in early trade on Monday, as investors continued to hammer Africa's top telecom on worries over a $4.2 billion lawsuit from Turkish rival Turcell.

Turkcell last week filed a suit in a US federal court accusing MTN with bribery and corrupt practises to win a 2004 Iranian cellular licence that was initially awarded to Turkcell.

MTN has denied the charges. Investors, however, have been spooked by the lawsuit, sending shares of the company down more than 6 per cent since Turkcell said it filed the claim.

Shares of MTN were down 2.8 per cent at 131.25 rand at 0735 GMT after earlier dropping more than 3 per cent.

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