Honduras’ National Congress has approved the appointment of a bank to manage the financial resources of state-owned telco Empresa Hondurena de Telecomunicaciones (Hondutel), with a view to turning the company into a public limited company (PLC). Local newspaper El Heraldo quotes Rigoberto Romero, the president of the Controlling Commission in charge of the struggling telco, as saying that a newly established trust will be empowered to re-structure Hondutel and allow the company to continue its operations in the coming months.
As previously reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate, in early September Honduras’ National Congress approved a budget proposal of HNL3.322 billion (USD162.924 million) for 2013 to keep the state-owned telco afloat. The deputy of the National Congress, Rodolfo Irias Navas, stated at the time that the situation at Hondutel must not be allowed to continue, and argued that foreign companies should be allowed to invest in the business. However, the executive added that the measures approved by the National Congress risked ‘lengthening the life of a dying man.’ According to the authorities, as of September 2013 Hondutel has liabilities of USD96 billion in unpaid wages and owed its suppliers around USD40 million. Further, the company faces a contingent liability of USD125 million that includes claims that are still being processed.