Import block for Algeria's Djezzy

Djezzy GSM is reported to be unable to import mobile SIM cards and other equipment following a dispute with the Algerian Government.

Djezzy, a division of Egypt’ s Orascom, is Algeria’ s biggest mobile operator, with over 14 million subscribers.

The company is reported to be facing serious constraints because of a dispute with the Algerian Government, which has resulted in the Algerian central bank preventing it from transferring money abroad.

Djezzy, which allegedly owed the government nearly USD600 million in back taxes, can no longer import mobile equipment, including spares and SIM cards.

This threatens to derail the company’ s traditionally busy Ramadan season business.

Earlier, talks between Orascom and MTN on the USD 7.8 billion sale of Djezzy to MTN were terminated, apparently due to regulatory hurdles put in place by the Algerian Government. The government is reported to be considering buying Djezzy itself for a significantly lower price.

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