JTC profits slide; MobileCom makes big dent
Prime minister Ali Abul Ragheb defended on Sunday the performance of the recently privatized Jordan Telecommunications Company (JTC) and pledged to pursue a sound privatization process. “The privatization bylaws and the whole process is progressing very well,” Abul Ragheb told reporters.
He explained that the reduced profits of the JTC had been anticipated because of various factors, and anticipated higher profits in the coming years. The premier said that the government's revenues were expected to fall in the first year after it sold 40 percent of its shares for $508 million.
He noted, however, that the government was getting extra income from the interest on the funds obtained from the sale of its shares.
The premier also attributed the decrease in the JTC's profits to the expansions undertaken by the new administration, a France Telecom coalition, notably the introduction of a new cellular service provider — MobileCom — due to hit the market in mid-September.
A fiscal report by the JTC, estimated that the company's net profit fell by 53.3 percent in the first half of 2000 compared to the same period of 1999.
The statistics, published by the Arabic daily Al-Arab Al-Yawm, showed that the company's revenues fell from 55 million Jordanian dinars (JD) in the first half of 1999 to JD25.7 million this year.
The government, according to the same report, estimated its income in 2000 at JD65 million from the JTC, as opposed to JD101.4 million in 1999 before the privatization. ¯ ( Jordan Times )
By Saad G. Hattar
© 2000 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)