Axiata’s subsidiary in Nepal ordered to settle RM1.45b tax

KUALA LUMPUR, April 17 — Axiata Group Bhd’s (Axiata) subsidiary, Ncell Private Limited (Ncell) has received a letter issued by Nepal’s Large Taxpayers Office on the tax to be collected from the company.

In a filing with Bursa Malaysia today, Axiata said the outstanding tax was in relation to the indirect transfer to Axiata Investments UK of an 80 per cent stake in Ncell through the sale of Reynolds Holdings Limited (Reynolds) by the previous foreign investor, TeliaSonera Norway Nepal Holdings AS (TeliaSonera).

“The letter stated that the assessment order issued against the seller, in relation to the transaction, has been transferred to Ncell and further states that the balance amount of the Capital Gains Tax arising from the transaction due is Nepalese rupee (NPR)39.06 billion (approximately RM1.45 billion)” said Axiata.

Ncell has been ordered to deposit the said amount within seven days or by April 22, 2019.

Axiata said the group and Ncell are reviewing the letter and considering appropriate course in relation to the letter.

To date, Axiata and Ncell have dutifully and responsibly complied with all relevant regulatory and legal requirements in relation to the transaction and acknowledged the order without prejudice to their remedial rights.

“As the country’s largest taxpayer, Ncell contributed US$1.17 billion in taxes since fiscal year 2014/2015.

“In 2018 alone, Ncell paid US$257 million which accounted for 4.2 per cent of total tax revenue of Nepal’s government that year,” said Axiata.

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

Under its corporate social responsibility ambit, Ncell has invested more than NPR680 million in various social projects identified as critical to the nation, including education, health, disaster management and environment.

“We believe that the government of Nepal will be supportive of our commitment and use our investment as a demonstration of the willingness and openness of Nepal to attract further foreign investment,” the group said. – Bernama

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