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OSLO, July 2 (Reuters) - Norwegian telecoms operator Telenor is considering the future of its operations in Myanmar due to the deteriorating business and security situation in the country, the company said on Friday.
Telenor wrote off the value of its Myanmar unit in May, booking a loss of 6.5 billion Norwegian crowns ($752 million), after its mobile business remained severely restricted following the Feb. 1 military coup.
“Due to the continued situation, Telenor Group is in the process of evaluating various options with regards to its presence in the country,” the company said in a statement.
Industry publication TMT Finance reported on Thursday that Telenor was exploring a sale of the Myanmar unit and that Citi had been hired to sell the business, with non-binding bids due in the coming weeks.
A source with direct knowledge of the matter, speaking on condition of anonymity, confirmed to Reuters that the detail of the TMT Finance report was accurate.
Telenor on May 4 said its presence in Myanmar, which dates back to 2014, would depend on the overall development in the country and the company’s ability to contribute positively to the people.
“The evaluations are ongoing, and Telenor Group will not make any further comments,” the company said on Friday.
In its first-quarter earnings report, Telenor said Myanmar’s rulers had imposed network restrictions and a nationwide shutdown of mobile data that cut Telenor’s subscription and traffic revenues in the country in half. ($1 = 8.6430 Norwegian crowns) (Reporting by Terje Solsvik, editing by Gwladys Fouche and Emelia Sithole-Matarise)