MTS to resume operations in Uzbekistan

Russian operator MTS will re-launch operations in Uzbekistan by the end of this year, after a two-year hiatus.

The company was forced to suspend its business in the country following a disagreement with the government in 2012, and local courts subsequently revoked its licence.

MTS owns a 50.01% stake in a joint venture in Uzbekistan, and is the country’s largest operator.

In 2012, it wrote off $1 billion in impairment and tax claims for its assets, and lost 9 million subscribers to competitors, including VimpelCom, after losing its licence.

Vladimir Evtushenkov, billionaire owner of MTS holding company AFK Sistema, said in May that the company was likely to return to the market by the end of the year.

In 2011, MTS had revenues of $441 million from the country, with a 53% margin for operating income, making it the company’s third-largest market after Russia and Ukraine.

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