MTN’s profitable little Cypriot business has become the first casualty of the group’s portfolio review process.MTN Cyprus, bought in 2006 as part of a broader transaction, was always something of an anomaly in the emerging-markets group. MTN has now agreed to sell it for just over R4bn to Monaco Telecom.Its only operation in Europe, MTN Cyprus generated average revenue per user (Arpu) of $19.53 a month in the fourth quarter of 2017 — nearly three times what the group made per subscriber in its next-best markets."MTN Cyprus is a nice little business and our team has really done a good job of getting a good performance out of it over the past few years," MTN CEO Rob Shuter said this week.Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (ebitda) rose 9.8% to R595m in 2017 — making Cyprus the third-fastest-growing market in MTN’s portfolio of 22 countries last year.But it is a tiny operation and the scope for further growth is relatively limited. More than one in three Cypri...

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