MTN has $450m held in Iran by sanctions

MTN has $450m held in Iran by sanctions
Better US-Iranian relations would be very welcome for MTN Group because it had not been able to repatriate about $450 million (R4.4 billion) from a unit in Iran, Nik Kershaw, a spokesman for the cellphone operator, said yesterday.

MTN’s funds had been blocked since early last year because of Washington’s sanctions against Tehran. “Our primary focus remains to ensure that we are sanction compliant with everything we do there,” said Kershaw. “But obviously it would be a great outcome if things did improve.” MTN owns 49 percent of MTN Irancell, which contributed 24 percent of its 2012 revenue. Iran’s Ghanoon newspaper yesterday quoted MTN Irancell executive Alireza Ghalambar Dezfouli as saying MTN had been unable to repatriate about $450m from Iran. Kershaw confirmed that amount, although he could not give an exact figure because of exchange rates. About $120m of that was in dividends owed to MTN, with the remainder made up of loans due to be repaid to the South African company, he said. – Reuters


JSE indices keep on setting records

Indices steamed to record highs on the JSE for the fourth consecutive session yesterday, lifted by gold producers and a big jump for retailer Pick n Pay. The Top40 index, which scaled the 40 000 mark last week for the first time in its 18-year history, ended the day at a record close of 40 544.23, after rising 1.12 percent. The all share index also finished at a life high, climbing 0.96 percent to 45 357.81. – Reuters page 24


Gold miners can read tree leaves

Researchers had found a surprising marker for deep-buried gold: minuscule traces in the leaves of Eucalyptus trees growing over veins of the yellow metal, they said yesterday. The unusual finding might prove a boon for prospectors in a time of dwindling gold reserves, with new discoveries down 45 percent in the past decade, according to journal Nature Communications. “This link between… vegetation growth and buried gold deposits could prove instrumental in developing new technologies for mineral exploration,” said a press summary. Eucalyptus trees can send their roots deep into the ground in search of water in dry areas, even breaking into gold-rich zones where they absorb microscopic metal particles.

By Business Report 


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