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Orascom defers $400m MENA cable project
16 May 2012
Chief executive Khaled Bichara suspends work on cable after failure to win ‘government permits’
Orascom Telecom has suspended work on its 94%-owned MENA Cable project, a $400 million investment to connect Italy, Greece, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Oman and India.
CEO Khaled Bichara said that the company has been unable to win official approval for the project. He told Middle East news service Zawya: “The project has been halted due to the non-availability of certain government permits that are key to its completion.”
The project was anticipated to lay about 9,000 kilometres of cable capable of providing speeds up to 5.76 terabits a second.
A person close to the project also told Zawya that the mobile phone company “does not have enough enthusiasm” to accomplish the project “after a corporate restructuring”. Most of Orascom’s business, run by Naguib Sawiris, was taken over by VimpelCom in 2011 and France Telecom-Orange is now in control of Mobinil, its Egyptian business. GTB
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