Axiata Group Berhad has opted to left from Ncell, Nepal selling its 80% share.
Axiata announced in a statement on Wednesday, 29 September 2023, that it has listed its assets for sale in order to leave Ncell. The board opted to sell the Ncell shares, citing a decline in the group’s business that the Axiata Group was experiencing as a result of Nepal’s Ncell.
In the quarterly report published by Axiata, it is mentioned that the returns of Ncell are decreasing and due to this, the overall financial statement of Axiata has been affected. “The outlook in Nepal is increasingly challenging, thus the Board has decided to exit Nepal and accordingly reclassify Ncell as asset held for sale,” reads the press statement.
Axiata view towards Nepal Government
Axiata’s wholly-owned subsidiary, Axiata Investments UK Ltd, and 80%-owned Ncell Axiata Ltd had filed claims against the government of Nepal over taxes imposed on the latter. The claims were dismissed by the Bilateral Investment Treaty arbitration tribunal at the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes. According to Axiata, owing to Nepal’s non-adherence to tribunal orders during the early stage of the process, the tribunal ordered the Nepal government to pay about US$1.4mil (RM6.5mil) to Axiata and reimburse Ncell for the cost of a loan taken.
Who are remaining 20% share holder?
Axiata’s local partner Sunivera Capital Ventures Pvt Ltd which holds a 20% share in the private operator. It’s a company registered in Singapore.