Telenor reviewing its operation in Pakistan as economic situation worsens

Telenor has been reviewing its operation in Pakistan in the wake of worsening macroeconomic situation in the country. However, the company has ruled out any possibility of moving towards a merger or closing down in Pakistan, local media reported.

Owing to writing down the value of its assets in the range of approximately $250 million, Sigve Brekke, President and Chief Executive Officer, Telenor, ASA, said in its statement, “We will definitely look at what is creating shareholder value when we do the review, but I don’t want to comment on content of that review.

“Of course, it is looking at operation, can we run that more efficiently than we already do but we are also looking at any other types of alternatives for us to secure our value in Pakistan,” The News Reported quoting the Telenor CEO.

Sources said that there was no plan for merger or taking exit from Pakistani market and no one should speculate about it. However, they said that in the wake of higher judiciary’s decision the company had to pay additional amount for renewal of license. The macroeconomic situation owing to hiked interest rates and depreciating exchange rate also multiplied financial difficulties for the telecom sector, The News reported.

The telecom sector had already communicated to the government that its revenue per user significantly declined in Pakistan as it stood at around $9 per user few years back but now it slashed down much below compared to other regional markets. The heavy taxation and inconsistent policies made telecom sector as unviable in case of Pakistan.

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