Algeria says it has not yet received Djezzy valuation

Algeria's telecom ministry has not received a valuation of Orascom Telecom's mobile unit Djezzy, its single biggest source of revenue which has been locked in a dispute with Algeria over back taxes since 2009, a senior source in the ministry said on Tuesday.

Egypt's Al-Borsa newspaper, citing an unnamed Orascom Telecom source, said on Monday that Shearman & Sterling LLP, a law firm hired by the Algerian government, had put a price of US$7 billion on Djezzy. OT shares climbed 10 percent on Monday.

Algeria has said it wants to buy Djezzy and ordered the law firm to determine the value of the Algerian unit.

"We did not get the evaluation yet, therefore it is still too early to speak about figures," the source told Reuters, asking not to be named because he was not allowed to speak to the press.

Orascom Telecom Executive Chairman Khaled Bichara told Reuters: "We have not received any official information on (the evaluation of) Djezzy. We cannot comment on rumors or news published in newspapers."

OT's shares rose a further 6.7 percent on Tuesday to their highest closing price since 4 August.

Analysts have said there could be more room to resolve the dispute over Djezzy since the merger of Orascom's parent firm, Wind Telecom, with Russian operator Vimpelcom and after a popular uprising swept Hosni Mubarak from power in Egypt.

Vimpelcom said in April it would seek talks with Algeria on Djezzy following the more than US$6 billion cash-and-shares deal to buy Wind Telecom assets including a 51 percent stake in Orascom. 

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