On The Money - In Brief

Mergers, Acquisitions and Financial Results

- Debt burdened Vivendi Universal has decided to hold on to its stake in Maroc Telecom in order to avoid losing between 800 million and a billion euros on the value of its stake if it sold it. The troubled French media group has a 35% stake in the Moroccan telecoms operator and an option to buy a futher 16% from 1 September 2003.

- A steep decline in heavyweight telecoms shares dragged Egyptian stocks lower on Sunday last week amid a lack of news of promised stake sales by Orascom Telecom and market anxiety over a possible war in Iraq, traders said. Orascom Telecom (OT) was the day’s second biggest percentage decliner, shedding 1.87 Egyptian pounds ($0.33), or 12 percent, to last trade at 13.69 pounds and officially close at 14.12.

- Thanks largely to its 13,5% stake in Vodacom, VenFin last week announced a 26% increase in headline earnings for the six months to the end of December.