On The Money - In Brief

Mergers, Acquisitions and Financial Results

­ France Telecom says that it would consider bidding for some of the assets owned by Kuwait based Zain should the company look at breaking up its African division. Zain is currently understood to be looking for a single trade buyer for its ex-Celtel networks across Africa. France's Vivendi was in talks with Zain, but suspended the discussions last week. Reports are circulating that Etisalat is looking at buying all of the Zain Group.

- Moroccan incumbent Maroc Telecom has reported its consolidated group results for the first half of 2009. Revenues were up 1.9% year-on-year to MAD14.6 billion (USD1.84 billion) in the six months ended 30 June, whilst EBITDA rose 1.0% to MAD8.6 billion and net income attributable to the group climbed 2.6% to MAD 4.6 billion. The total customer base reached 19.6 million at mid-year, up by 5.3% from June 2008, with growth fuelled by subsidiaries in sub-Saharan Africa which saw their combined customer bases increase by 44.1% year-on-year to 3.2 million customers.

- In Zimbabwe, mobile telecoms firm, Econet Wireless is generating up to US$3 million per month in extra revenue after releasing thousands of new Sim Cards, giving a new impetus to its ambitious network expansion programme. In parallel, his CEO Douglas Mboweni said that it will not be launching its 3G service this year but the good news is early next year subscribers can look forward to the service.