* Bank accounts freed but some fixed assets still frozen
* Says does not expect India move to delay Microsoft deal
(Recasts, adds details)
NEW DELHI/HELSINKI, Sept 30 Indian authorities
have frozen some of Nokia's assets in a tax dispute,
the Finnish phone maker said on Monday, although it does not
expect the move to delay the sale of its handset business to
Nokia has been in dispute with Indian authorities over an
income tax bill of 20.8 billion rupees ($333 million), one of
several tax disagreements involving foreign companies in India.
Indian tax authorities froze Nokia's assets and bank
accounts last Wednesday, a company executive said.
Nokia appealed to the Delhi High Court which last Thursday
ordered the bank accounts in India to be unfrozen, allowing the
company to transfer or withdraw funds parked there.
But some fixed assets such as buildings remain frozen since
last week, the Nokia executive said, meaning the company cannot
transfer ownership of the assets without the approval of the
"We are now talking to the authorities to clear up any
lingering concerns," said the executive, declining to give
details of the assets.
Nokia said the freezing of the fixed assets would not have
any impact on the day-to-day operations of the company and that
it had sufficient assets in India to meet its tax obligations.
Nokia's 5.44 billion euros ($7.37 billion) deal to sell its
handset business and license patents to Microsoft is expected to
close in the first quarter of 2014, subject to approval by
shareholders and regulators.
"This does not change our earlier expectation that the
transaction with Microsoft will close in Q1 2014," a Nokia
spokesman said when asked about the asset freeze.
Nokia was the market leader in India until the first quarter
of this year. The company has one of its biggest phone factories
at Chennai in the south of the country.
($1 = 62.4550 Indian rupees)
($1 = 0.7385 euros)
(Reporting by Devidutta Tripathy and Ritsuko Ando; editing by