Privatization Revenue Hides Massive Deficit at Maroc Télécom
The budget of Morocco's Maroc Télécom has a surplus of Dh18 billion ($1.551 billion) thanks to Vivendi Universal's purchase of a 35 percent stake in the firm under a privatization scheme, but this only covers a massive deficit.
The Dh23 billion check from Vivendi Universal for its 35 percent stake in Maroc Télécom papers over the company's deficit, which would be Dh4.8 billion (up 140 percent on the same period last year) without the privatization revenue, Upline Securities reported on Saturday.
According to Upline, the four months' deficit blow-out can be traced to an 18.7 percent rise in spending, fueled mainly by a higher public wage bill, increased administration costs, and heavy subsidies on staple foods and fuel.
Finance Minister Fathallah Oualalou has issued cabinet ministers a memo on the 2002 budget calling for 10 percent cuts in operating budgets, reduced investment spending, and a public sector hiring freeze – Albawaba.com
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