[bloomberg] Orascom Telecom Holding SAE, the biggest mobile-phone operator in the Middle East by users, dropped the most in 11 weeks after Reuters reported new back-tax demands by the Algerian government on the company’s local unit.
Shares of Orascom fell 2 percent to 5.29 Egyptian pounds at the 2:30 p.m. close in Cairo, the biggest decline since July 12, valuing the company at 27.7 billion pounds ($4.86 billion).
Algeria’s Telecommunication Ministry denied the report, which cited unnamed people in industry and government, Al Arabiya television said after the market closed, also citing unidentified people.
Officials at Algeria’s central bank and Ministry of Finance weren’t immediately available for comment. Manal Abdel-Hamid, spokeswoman for Orascom Telecom, declined to comment.
“The Algeria issue clearly affected Orascom’s stock today,” said Ahmed Alseesi, deputy manager of the international desk sales department at Cairo-based Prime Holding. “We need more transparency from the government there.”
Orascom Falls Most in 11 Weeks on Report of Algeria Back Taxes