On The Money - In Brief

Mergers, Acquisitions and Financial Results

- Telecom investments in Nigeria has increased to over US$18 billion within the last eight years on account of predictive regulatory environment and supportive government for a deregulated telecom industry. According to Chief Executive of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Engr. Ernest Ndukwe, the said the current investment figure is made up of about US$12 billon from foreign direct investment while the balance is from investments made within the country since 2001.

­ MTN's Ugandan subsidiary has raised US$100 million in debt to fund the expansion of its network. Isaac Nsereko, chief marketing officer at MTN confirmed the development to the Reuters news agency. Absa Capital, the investment banking arm of Absa Group was lead arranger of the syndicated loan. "We are using it to invest in the network, different sections of the network really," he told Reuters in a telephone interview.

- Datatec released interim results today, revealing a 21% decline in revenue from the comparable period last year. Operating profit before finance costs, depreciation and amortisation ("EBITDA") fell 38% and headline earnings per share were 72% lower at 4.9 US cents per share. The group's balance sheet however remained strong, with $318 million held in cash.

- The U.A.E.'s Emirates Telecommunications Corp., or Etisalat, said it is close to finalizing a bond program aimed at financing foreign acquisitions and expanding into new markets. The bond program - under which the company will be able to sell conventional bonds and Islamic bonds, or sukuk - is in line with "foreign expansion and acquisition activities Etisalat is carrying out in regional and global markets," the company said in an emailed statement.