CAIRO: The Algerian government has denied imposing new taxes on the local unit of Egyptian mobile firm Orascom Telecom, Al Arabiya television said on Monday, citing unnamed government sources.
Industry and government sources had told Reuters that Algeria planned to demand new back taxes from the company, Orascom’s main source of revenue.
The channel carried a brief news item on the denial but did not give further details.
Orascom agreed to negotiate the sale of the unit, known as Djezzy, to Algiers after it was hit with previous back-tax claims totaling over $600 million and the state blocked a plan to sell it to South Africa’s MTN.
Algeria’s Telecommunications Minister last week denied that the government was pressuring Djezzy and said authorities were only upholding the law.
Shares in the Cairo-based firm closed down 2.8 percent before the denial was broadcast on Al Arabiya. The main benchmark index, EGX30, dipped 0.9 percent.