July 15, 2014 / 10:47 AM / 3 years ago

UPDATE 1-Kuwait's Zain says court lifts freeze on Zain Iraq earnings

(Adds further Zain statement)

DUBAI, July 15 (Reuters) - An Iraqi court has lifted a freeze on future revenue of Zain Iraq although previously frozen revenues remain blocked, Kuwaiti parent Zain said on Tuesday, after a $4.5 billion lawsuit against the Iraqi firm was dismissed this month.

In April, Zain revealed its Iraqi unit was being sued by a local telecommunications firm over the $1.2 billion acquisition of rival operator Iraqna from Egypt's Orascom Telecom in 2007.

An Iraqi court in January ordered Zain Iraq's revenue from subscribers obtained through buying Iraqna to be placed under a legal guardian and in an Iraqi bank until the case was resolved.

Those restrictions have now been lifted, a statement to the Kuwaiti bourse said on Tuesday, but in a separate emailed statement Zain said this referred only to future revenues, not those already frozen as per the January court decision.

This means the revenue held between the January and July court decisions will remain under the jurisdiction of the legal guardian until the case is finally settled.

The unidentified plaintiff, who also sought damages from Iraq's telecommunications regulator, the Communications and Media Commission (CMC), has 15 days to appeal a July 9 verdict that dismissed the cases against Zain and the CMC.

Iraqna had about 3 million subscribers at the time of Zain's acquisition, while Zain Iraq accounted for 40 percent of its parent's first-quarter revenue this year. (Reporting by Yara Bayoumy and Matt Smith; Editing by Andrew Torchia and David French)

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