MERGERS, ACQUISITIONS AND FINANCIAL RESULTS

THE TRILLIONS KEEP FLOODING IN ZIMBABWE ECONET WIRELESS

If Strive Masiyiwa takes the very improbable decision to sell his Econet Wireless stake today, he would bag a groovy $4 trillion (US$43.48 million). That's not even the half of it.

If you were to value his Class "A" shares, which were 60 million as at June last year, his personal worth in Econet would total $22.2 trillion (US$241 million).

Econet traded at $300 000 last Friday, valuing Masiyiwa's direct shareholding in the company -- made up of 12.1 million shares -- at $3.6 trillion on the day. But with the share racing even further this week, Masiyiwa has seen a trillion dollars added to his wealth in just the past week alone.

Even after making a big leap over the past two weeks, analysts say Econet still has a lot more upside left to burn -- and a lot more wealth to deliver to its shareholders.

"In (Econet's) interim results to December 31 2005, we are expecting very good results given the increase in the number of subscribers," Kingdom Stockbrokers said, naming the share as one of its top-10 picks. TS Masiyiwa Holdings is also a major Kingdom shareholder.

Econet's current share price is a massive jump from its $116 000 close on December 30, the last trading day of 2005. That was 3 167 percent up on the start of 2005, light years ahead of the 237 percent annual average inflation last year.

Investors looking to snare a plum dividend when Econet releases its interims in March have been piling into the counter since trade opened on January 3.

After a five-year dividend drought between 1998 and 2003, Econet has turned aggressive on its dividend policy over the past two years, in the last financial year handing Masiyiwa $19 billion in dividends at the half-year, and $12 billion at the full-year.

Dividends for his Class "A" shares have been much higher at around $90 billion.

A 10-for-one share consolidation in 2004 saw the share open 2005 at a then record $3 550 high, setting a firm tone that carried it through last year.

In December, Econet signed up its 400 000th subscriber, not only fortifying its position as the country's largest mobile service provider, but also making it the largest telecoms company in the country by subscriber count.

The Financial Gazette last month quoted Masiyiwa as saying Econet had begun formulating a strategy to broaden its network capacity to carry one million users.

Financial Gazette

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