UPDATE 1-Egypt's Global Telecom loss balloons in second quarter

Wed Aug 6, 2014 6:53am EDT

(Adds detail on foreign exchange hit, background)

CAIRO Aug 6 (Reuters) - Egypt-listed telecoms firm Global Telecom Holding posted a widened net loss for the second quarter, blaming a weak Egyptian pound and impairment charges in its African operations.

Foreign exchange losses of $109 million and a bad business performance in the Central African Republic and Burundi, which contributed to impairments of $22 million, hit Global Telecom's revenues, the company said on Wednesday.

Egypt's central bank, which effectively controls official foreign exchange rates, allowed the Egyptian pound to weaken sharply against the dollar between April and June.

Global Telecom, formerly known as Orascom Telecom, has exited most of its Egyptian operations and is now a subsidiary of Russia's Vimpelcom. An official at the company said the foreign exchange hit was the result of a "retranslation" of loans between U.S. dollars and Egyptian pounds.

Global Telecom's second-quarter net loss of $173.1 million compared with a loss of $22.7 million in the second quarter of last year.

Revenue fell almost 5 percent to $863.3 million in the three months to June. Also weighing on revenues, sales dropped 6 percent in Algeria and 8 percent in Pakistan, partly because of tough competition, the company said. (Reporting By Stephen Kalin; editing by Jane Merriman and Shadia Nasralla)