MTN to exit Middle East and focus on African market

MTN, Africa’s largest mobile operator, announced its plan to exit the Middle East region and focus mainly on the African market.

The group’s CEO Rob Shuter, announced, As part of our ongoing portfolio review, we believe the group is best served to focus in the future on our pan-African strategy. We will therefore be exiting the Middle East in an orderly manner over the medium term. As a first step we are in advanced discussions to sell our 75% stake in MTN Syria.”

The company’s Middle Eastern operations contributed only 4 per cent to the company’s overall EBIDTA.

In the meantime, following the peak impact of the Covid-19 effects in April 2020, Shuter pointed out that the company was encouraged by the “sequential recovery we have observed in key voice, data and fintech trends as restrictions have gradually eased.”

MTN Group will be looking to sell off its interests in Afghanistan and Yemen before divesting its 49 per cent stake in Iran’s MTN Irancell.