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Malaysia’s Axiata buys Ncell’s 60 pc shares

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KATHMANDU — Axiata Group Bhd, Malaysia’s largest mobile operator by market value, said on Monday that it has entered into an agreement to acquire Nepal’s biggest mobile operator in terms of market share for $1.37 billion.

TeliaSonera, owner of the Nepali mobile phone service provider Ncell, sold 60.4 percent share of the Ncell to the Axiata.

The deal, however, is yet to be approved from the Department of Industries in Nepal, Nepal Telecommunication Authority, Malaysian Central Bank and Axiata’s shareholders, respectively.

In its statement, the European telecom provider on Monday said it sold the shares worth USD 1,030 million to the Malaysia-based Asian telecom titan.

“Ncell had a net cash position of around USD 284 million, after purchase price adjustments, as of September 30, 2015, and TeliaSonera will be paid for the cash position at closing in proportion to its economic interest of 80.4 percent,” the statement said.

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Maldives opposition legislator Ibrahim Mohamed Solih wins presidency

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MALE — Maldives opposition legislator Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has beaten incumbent Abdulla Yameen according to provisional results, the country’s Elections Commission says.

Results released by the Elections Commission showed Mr Solih securing 133,808 votes (58.3 percent) compared to the 95,526 for incumbent Abdulla Yameen. The voter turnout was over 88 per cent out of the 262,000-strong electorate.

The Maldives government has acknowledged the opposition’s victory after the vote on Sunday, a surprise defeat for President Abdulla Yameen who was widely expected to win.

There were no other candidates.

Mr Solih had the backing of a united opposition trying to oust Mr Yameen, but struggled for visibility with the electorate, with local media fearful of falling afoul of heavy-handed decrees and reporting restrictions.

“I call on Yameen to respect the will of the people and bring about a peaceful, smooth transfer of power,” Solih said on television, shortly after interim results from the country’s election commission.

“We have won this election with a comfortable majority,” Solih said.

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