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Telkom South Africa Falls to Lowest in 10 Years Following Fine

Telkom South Africa Ltd., Africa’s biggest fixed-line operator, closed at its lowest level in more than a decade after it was fined 449 million rand ($49 million) by a competition tribunal.

Pretoria-based Telkom fell 2.7 percent, or 36 cents, to 13.09 rand as of the 5 p.m. close in Johannesburg. That’s the company’s lowest share price since March 2003, giving it a market value of 6.8 billion rand.

South Africa’s Competition Commission had recommended imposing a fine of 3 billion rand on the company for abusing its dominant position in the telecommunications industry between 1999 and 2004. Telkom, which appealed the judgment last year, must pay half of the 449 million-rand fine within the next six months and the remainder within 18 months, according to a statement yesterday.

Telkom said last week its full-year earnings would decline at least 20 percent as it battled against tougher competition from mobile and broadband companies. Headline earnings per share, which were 324.7 cents in the year through March 2012, will be more than a fifth lower in the fiscal year just ended.

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