November 26, 2014 09:37
Orascom Telecom Media and Technology of Egypt has earned more than US$500 million from its mobile phone business in North Korea.
Orascom posted the figure in an audit report on its website.
The cash balance of Koryolink, the North Korean cellular network operator in which Orascom owns a 75 percent stake, increased from $510 million in late June to $540 million in late September, according to analysis by accounting firm Deloitte on Sept. 30.
But the blog North Korea Tech said due to currency controls imposed by the regime, "that cash isn't readily available" to Orascom to repatriate.
The company has recently complained that North Korea is preventing it from sending the money to Egypt and is in negotiations with the regime.
In May last year, Orascom said there were more than two million people in North Korea with mobile phones, but it published no official statistics this time.
But North Korea Tech quoted an Orascom executive as estimating the number at 2.4 million.
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