On Sunday, Orascom Telecom said it has not received any official notification from Algeria that it it’s local unit Djezzy should pay Algeria’s central bank $193 million, in a note to the bourse on Sunday.
An Algerian official told Reuters last week that the central bank has decided to demand $193 million in compensation from Djezzy for violating foreign exchange rules.
The fate of the unit, at the heart of a long-running row between Egyptian billionaire Naguib Sawiris and Algiers, is seen as a potential hurdle for OT to close a $6.6 billion merger deal with Russia’s Vimpelcom that could create the world’s fifth-biggest mobile phone operator.
Orascom also said any fine would still be subject to investigation and would need to be approved by a court.
"Orascom Telecom has not received any official notification thus far regarding the mentioned fine and any such fine is subject to investigation and a court process which will determine whether a fine is applicable or not," the firm said.
Orascom Telecom said a week ago that Djezzy’s chief executive had been called in by police for questioning over allegations that the firm violated Algerian foreign exchange rules.
Djezzy is Orascom’s main revenue earner but has been prevented from transferring its profits out of the country since a bitter back-tax dispute with authorities broke out last year.
Orascom’s shares fell 3.1 percent on Sunday before the announcement, in more than four times its average daily trading volumes over the previous 60 sessions, dragging down the benchmark index down 0.8 percent.