Uzbek Court Favors MTS

An Uzbek court has overturned a ruling confiscating the local assets of mobile phone operator MTS, offering hope that it could still restart operations valued at $1 billion in Central Asia's most populous country.

The court also ordered MTS to pay about $600 million in fines within eight months, and it ruled to bring the company as a civil defendant in a criminal case against its four local employees.

But it overturned a previous judgment ordering the confiscation of MTS assets.

MTS had appealed the nationalization of its Uzbek assets after its operating license was withdrawn earlier this year and a 2.5-year "corrective" labor sentence was imposed on its managers.

(Reuters)

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