Norway’s Telenor telecom group weighs Myanmar presence


A protester holds the National League for Democracy flag during a flash mob demonstration against the military coup in Yangon on Thursday. (AFP photo)
A protester holds the National League for Democracy flag during a flash mob demonstration against the military coup in Yangon on Thursday. (AFP photo)

Norway’s Telenor, a major telecom operator in Myanmar, said Friday it is weighing its future in the country after booking losses following a military coup and subsequent crackdown.

The company issued a statement following reports that it was considering the sale of its unit in the country, Telenor Myanmar.

Telenor was pushed into deep losses in the first quarter after it was forced to write down all of its assets in Myanmar, taking their value from 6.5 billion kroner ($769 million) to zero.

“Due to the continued situation, Telenor Group is in the process of evaluating various options with regards to its presence in the country,” the firm said.

“The evaluations are ongoing, and Telenor Group will not make any further comments,” it added.

Telenor has had a commercial presence in Myanmar since 2014 and employs a workforce of around 750 in the country.

Myanmar has been rocked by massive protests and a brutal military response since the February coup that ousted Aung San Suu Kyi and her government.

More than 880 civilians have been killed in a crackdown by the State Administration Council — as the junta calls itself — and almost 6,500 arrested, according to a local monitoring group.

NGOs have urged foreign companies to review their presence in Myanmar.

The junta has vested interests in swathes of the country’s economy, from mining to banking, oil and tourism.



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