March 20, 2019 / 11:12 AM / 5 months ago

Israel's Bezeq Telecom expects to write-off 1.5 bln shekels for 2018

JERUSALEM, March 20 (Reuters) - Bezeq Israel Telecom said on Wednesday it expected to write off 1.5 billion shekels ($416 million) in its 2018 results due to the impairment of assets in its TV and other subsidiaries.

Bezeq, Israel’s largest telecoms group, had warned on Tuesday it could write down that amount, pending a decision by the market regulator on whether the operations of its three units would be considered a single cash generating unit — as Bezeq believes — or as three separate ones.

“The Securities Authority informed the company that its position is that these activities should be treated as separate cash generating units,” Bezeq said in a regulatory filing.

It said it expected to make the write-off in its 2018 financial statements to be published next week, adding that had the subsidiaries been treated as a single cash generating unit the write-down would have been a “non-material amount.”

Most of the write-off — 1.1 billion shekels — stems from a reduction in the valuation of TV unit YES. Bezeq’s other subsidiaries are mobile phone operator Pelephone and internet service provider Bezeq International.

Bezeq has been lobbying regulators to end a forced structural separation between its subsidiaries to better compete with smaller rivals. The government has been reluctant to do so, fearing Bezeq could use its dominance to harm competition.

$1 = 3.6084 shekels Reporting by Steven Scheer Editing by Louise Heavens and Edmund Blair

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