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South Africa's Treasury and banking officials are to meet government officials in India to discuss foreign exchange control implications of the planned tie-up between MTN and India's Bharti Airtel.

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The South African Treasury and central bank have to assess whether the flow of money resulting from a tie-up would infringe any exchange control laws currently in place and whether any legal exemptions would be necessary.

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The merger would create the world's third-largest mobile phone group by subscribers but is subject to an end-September deadline. The firms have extended talks twice before.

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"They are leaving here later today. They should be there for a day or two and not sure of the duration of their stay," Treasury spokeswoman Thoraya Pandy told Reuters on Monday.

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"It's not a very long visit. They will be speaking to Indian officials about MTN, Bharti matter.

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On Thursday, President Jacob Zuma said the deal was being held up by legal problems in India.

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Meanwhile, South Africa's labour federation COSATU is trying to halt the tie-up, sources close to the matter told Reuters on Friday.

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