Mikati (19)


Three board members of MTN-Syria resigned this week as government pressure continues to impact the telecoms sector.


The past few weeks have seen renewed challenges on Rami Makhlouf’s position within the Syrian regime: a shipment from one of his companies was seized in Egypt because it contained drugs; his personal assets and those of one his companies were frozen; and the government is claiming at least one hundred billion pounds from Syriatel.


The Ministry of Finance has frozen the assets and bank accounts of MTN-Syria and of several of its board members, a decision that signals that it wants to put pressure on one of the country’s largest companies.


The half year results posted by Syria’s two mobile phone companies confirm the growing gap between them as Rami Makhlouf’s Syriatel now holds more than two thirds of the market.


An Iranian company, in partnership with a leading regime crony, is expected to win the license to operate a mobile phone network in Syria.


Despite the massive destruction of the economy, Syriatel and MTN, the country’s two mobile phone operators, continue to generate significant revenues and profits.


The new licenses governing the operations of Syria’s two mobile phone companies will generate huge losses for the Syrian State in the coming years, while increasing the profits of the two companies, Syriatel and South Africa’s MTN, official records show.


The financial statements of Syria’s two mobile phone companies are providing details on the terms of the long-term licenses granted to them at the beginning of this year.


The Syrian government announced last week that it had agreed to award long-term licenses for the two companies operating the country's mobile phone network.


MTN-Syria, the Syrian subsidiary of the South African mobile phone operator, said its revenues in the first half of this year reached SYP 20.74 billion, almost unchanged from the same period of 2010.


MTN Syria announced record revenues of SYP 32.3 billion (USD 672 million) in its 2007 fiscal year, an annual increase of 23.3 percent, according to the audited statements of the company.

MTN Syria announced record revenues of SYP 32.3 billion (USD 672 million) in its 2007 fiscal year, an annual increase of 23.3 percent, according to the audited statements of the company.


Syriatel, Syria’s largest private corporation, is about to be sold by its main shareholder, Mr Rami Makhlouf.


BMI has become the only British air carrier operating flights between Syria and the UK, following its purchase of BMED.


The number of subscribers to the two GSM networks in Syria will exceed the number of landline subscribers this year for the first time ever.

Syriatel plans to apply to have its shares listed on the Dubai stock exchange in the coming few months, according to Majda Sakr, chief commercial officer.
The last Syrian soldier crossed the border from Lebanon on April 26, ending the country’s 29-year unbroken military presence in its smaller neighbour and, according to the statement from the Syrian Foreign Ministry to the UN on the same day, implementing “all the relevant provisions” in UN resolution 1559.

Lebanon's pro-Syrian President Emile Lahoud named on April 15 Najib Mikati, a wealthy businessman with close ties to Syria, as Lebanon’s new premier after Omar Karami, the former prime minister, finally made good on one of his promises and resigned for the second time after failing to name a new Cabinet.


The rift between the two partners of the mobile phone operator Syriatel seems to be nearing its end after the Syrian court handling the case ordered Egypt's Orascom Telecom (OT) to hand over the 720,000 shares it owns in the operator, at an estimated c...


Updated February 28, 2014: Two referees have been appointed as caretakers for Syriatel to rule in a legal dispute between the company, one of the two GSM operators in Syria, and Orascom, its managing shareholder.