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Orascom Telecom chariman to step down end-2011

Chairman Khaled Bichara is due to step down at yearend. Orascom has recently reported a net loss of $975 million for Q3 from a profit a year earlier.

November 14, 2011 1:26 by

The executive chairman of Orascom Telecom, Khaled Bichara, will step down from his post at the end of 2011 and the board has yet to elect a new chairman, the company said in a statement on Monday.

Bichara, who said he planned to “pursue new business opportunities”, will continue his responsibilitiies as executive chairman until the end of December.

“In due course, the board will elect the new chairman of the board,” the company said without giving a timeframe.
Bichara is also stepping down as chief operating officer of Russia’s Vimpelcom, which bought Orascom’s parent company in a $6 billion deal in April.

Recently, reports revealed Orascom Telecom swung to a net loss of $975 million for the third quarter from a profit a year earlier, when it reported a one-off gain from its Egyptian mobile business.

Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation grew 21 percent to $481 million as revenues climbed 3.5 percent to $1.01 billion, the company said in a statement on its website.

Net income before minorities was $10 million, down from $934 million in the third quarter of 2010.

The company blamed part of the decline on a strengthening of the Egyptian pound against the Canadian dollar which led to a foreign exchange loss on a loan to its Canadian business.

The subscriber base grew 12 percent to around 109 million, said Orascom, which is splitting its business under the terms of a tie-up sealed this year with Russia’s Vimpelcom. (Reporting by Tom Pfeiffer)

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