Telenor writes off rest of India mobile business

Norwegian telecom giant Telenor on Monday wrote off the rest of its mobile business in India worth 3.9 billion kroner ($680 million) after New Delhi scrapped licences in a massive fraud probe.

It warned too that it could withdraw completely from India, one of the world's fastest growing telecom markets, in light of increased uncertainty since the mobile phone licences were scrapped.

Telenor said that "as a precautionary measure … it has decided to write-down the remaining fixed and intangible assets in India.

"After the write-down, Telenor has no further accounting exposure related to India," it said, adding that the charge will be included in its first quarter results due for release on May 8th.

India's Supreme Court earlier this year cancelled second-generation (2G) mobile licences issued in 2008 to a host of companies with foreign partners on the grounds the sale was rigged, costing New Delhi $40 billion in lost revenues.

In 2009, Telenor acquired a 67.25 percent stake in Uninor which holds 22 of the 122 licences cancelled by the Supreme Court.

In February this year, Telenor took an initial charge of 4.2 billion kroner against its 2011 results to cover the cost of the cancelled licences.

Telenor said Monday that following the cancellation, "the uncertainty has increased significantly" as the Indian regulator worked on a new licence sale.

If "the recommendation from (the regulator) in its current form should be approved (by the government) …. it will be almost impossible to participate in the auction," it said.

"Telenor is working actively towards Indian authorities to bring forward an acceptable framework for continued operations," it added.

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Today in Norway: A roundup of the latest news on Tuesday

Found out what’s going on in Norway on Tuesday with the Local’s short roundup of important news.

Today in Norway: A roundup of the latest news on Tuesday
The northern lights in Tromsø. Photo by Lightscape on Unsplash

One in ten international students in Norway has had Covid-19

Ten percent of overseas students studying in Norway, compared to just 2.9 percent of Norwegian students, have had Covid-19, according to the Students Health and Well Being Survey (SHoT).

Some 62,000 thousand of Norway’s 300,000 students responded to the survey.

READ MORE: Are Norway’s Covid-19 numbers on track for reopening?

Overall, nearly three percent said that they been infected with the Coronavirus, just over half have had to self isolate, and 70 percent took tests.

Woman in her 40’s charged with murder

A woman has been charged with murder in Halden, southeast Norway after a body was found in an apartment in the towns centre.

She will be questioned on Tuesday. A public defender has been appointed. 

Six police cars attended the scene at a small housing association in the centre of Halden.

A person found in the same apartment is being questioned as a witness.

Network provider Telenor’s revenues down 2.1 billion kroner compared to last year

Telenor’s revenues are down 2.1 billion in the first quarter and the company has written of its 6.5 billion kroner investment in Myanmar following Februarys military coup.

The mobile network operator became one of the first foreign providers in the country and had gained a 35 percent market share.

However, the country’s new military regime shut down the mobile network on March 15th.

“In Myanmar, we are experiencing a confusing and uncertain situation. We are deeply concerned about the development in the country,” The company stated in its quarterly report.

Norway and Sweden in reindeer border dispute

Swedish Sami reindeer herders will appear in court this week in a case against the Ministry of Agriculture and Food.

The Swedish Sami herders believe they have exclusive rights to grazing areas across the Norwegian border because they have lived in the surrounding area for hundreds of years. The Norwegian government rejects these claims.

The reindeer grazing convention will be central to the case; the convention facilitates mutual cross-border grazing for reindeer herds.

Sweden withdrew from the convention in 2005. However, Norway enshrined the convention in law in 2005.

483 Coronavirus infections recorded

On Monday, 483 new cases of Covid-29 were registered, an increase of 75 compared to the average of the previous week.

READ ALSO: Norway considers lifting measures for people who have had their first Covid vaccine 

This is down from 1150 cases registered during the peak of Norway’s third wave on March 16th.

This is partly because fewer infections are registered during weekends and public holidays, causing an uptick on Mondays.