Axiata's Ncell files appeal against RM1.45b payment demanded by Nepal

  • Business
  • Monday, 22 Apr 2019

Analysts had said Axiata would have to accept the offer unless it was able to find a partner to fund a counterbid since M1 was a non-core asset. The 28.67% stake comprises 265.41 million shares.

KUALA LUMPUR: Axiata Group Bhd's subsidiary  Ncell Pte Ltd has appealed against Nepal's Large Taxpayer Office's (LTPO) demand of 39.06 billion Nepalese rupees (RM1.45bil) as capital gains tax (CGT).

Axiata said Ncell, had sumitted a writ petition against the LTPO following the order made by the Supreme Court in Nepal over the demand.

Axiata had until Monday to settle the RM1.45bil that Nepal authorities had imposed on them as CGT for buying a stake in Ncell, which is Nepal's largest mobile player, 

StarBiz reported last week that by right, the seller should be paying the CGT but in this case, Axiata’s unit Ncell has been made to pay for it.

Axiata bought a 80% stake in Ncell for RM1.365bil in 2015 from TeliaSonera Norway.  However, now not only does Ncell have to pay the CGT, taxes and penalties have been imposed on it because the matter has been dragged on till now.

Axiata said it had on Sunday filed a writ of certiorari, prohibition and mandamus to the Supreme Court against the LTPO, Inland Revenue Department of Nepal and the Ministry of Finance of Nepal. 

“The Ncell application was accepted by the Sumpreme Court today,” it said.  
Ncell is Nepal’s largest taxpayer contributing US$1.17bil in taxes since fiscal year 2014/15. Last year, Ncell paid US$257mil, which accounted to 4.2% of total tax revenue for Nepal’s government. 

Over the last two years, Ncell’s total accumulated capital investment reached US$164mil, with US$66mil recorded in the first fiscal year.


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