August 26, 2019 / 10:49 AM / a month ago

Maroc Telecom signs $1 billion investment deal with Moroccan government

RABAT (Reuters) - Maroc Telecom (IAM.CS), Morocco’s largest telecoms operator, said on Monday it had signed a deal worth 10 billion dirhams ($1 billion) with the Moroccan government to develop telecoms infrastructure over the next three years.

The deal, covering high-speed mobile broadband in addition to fixed lines, is the sixth of its kind between the company and the government, brings the company’s total investments to 68 billion dirhams, Maroc Telecom said in a statement.

Maroc Telecom, listed on the Casablanca Stock Exchange and Euronext in Paris, is 53% controlled by the United Arab Emirates telecoms group Etisalat ETISALAT.AD.

The Moroccan government owns 22% after it recently sold an 8% stake in the company in a privatization push to curb the country’s budget deficit.

Maroc Telecom operates subsidiaries in Benin, Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast, Gabon, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Togo and the Central African Republic.

The group’s customer base grew 3.9% by June 2019 to 63 million users, including 19.3 million in Morocco.

Reporting by Ahmed Eljechtimi; editing by David Evans

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