MTN Syria, which currently operates in the country under a Build, Operate and Transfer (BOT) arrangement granted by the Syrian Telecommunications Establishment (STE), has announced that it made ‘significant progress’ in converting the BOT contract to a freehold licence. In its latest financial report, the parent company MTN Group revealed that it is anticipating that the process will ‘ultimately culminate in the awarding of the licence and termination of the related BOT contract’ before the end of 2014, with initial licence fee of between SYP18 billion and SYP25 billion (USD120.7 million and USD167.7 million). MTN Group said the required payment will be funded through cash balances maintained within the local unit. The current BOT contract provides for revenue sharing between MTN Syria and STE and stipulates that MTN Syria must hand over the network to STE at the end of the arrangement period.
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