On the Money – In Brief

Mergers, Acquisitions and Financial Results

- Johannesburg — Vodacom said earnings per share and headline earnings per share for the six months to September will rise to between 285c and 307c.Vodacom said that earnings per share and headline earnings per share for the six months to September will rise to between 285c and 307c. This is a sizeable turnaround from earnings per share of 4c last year, following big losses at Gateway Communications.
Vodacom took a large hit from an overpriced acquisition of Gateway last year. Its net profit tumbled 98% for the six months to R59m on revenue that was up almost 10% from R26bn to R28.6bn.The 700m acquisition of voice and data carrier Gateway was revalued to about half its original worth, incurring an impairment charge of R3.2bn. In the three moths to June, revenue from international operations including Lesotho, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Tanzania dropped 14.5% to R1.9bn. The international segment revenue was restated to include Gateway's R709m in the quarter. The company's total revenue for the three months to June was R14.4bn.
Vodacom faces several regulatory issues including new interconnection rates that have already dragged down revenue. The reduction of the interconnection rates from R1.25 to 89c had a negative effect of about R393m on revenue in the quarter to June.
Vodacom's share price yesterday gained 25c to close at R67.90.

- Morocco's government has scrapped its proposed sale of an 8% stake in incumbent telco Maroc Telecom. The sale of Maroc Telecom was abandoned. It does not figure in the draft budget text for next year. The state had previously slated a sale of part of its 30% stake in the fixed line, mobile and broadband operator for sometime in 2011.

- Dimension Data will suspend trade of its shares on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange on Tuesday. The suspension comes as the group prepares to be bought out by Japan’s Nippon Telegraph and Telephone (NTT) Corp for R24,4bn in cash.The deal was first announced in mid-July and the two groups have since received all the relevant regulatory approvals from around the world. Didata’s London listing will be business-as-usual until the group officially delists from both exchanges.

- Nairobi — The growth of East Africa's financial sector is anchored on mobile commerce platforms that have witnessed demand from customers.According to Citibank CEO in-charge of Global Transaction Services Francesco Vanni d'Archirafi, the region needs, therefore, to invest in relevant technologies .This will help in leveraging customer needs that today transcends physical boundaries in Africa and across the globe."Digitisation of money and information is one of the most important trends for financial institutions," said Mr Vanni d'Archirafi. The deal will see Citi offer financial inter-mediation services to Bharti as well as collections and payment solutions to customers of Citi and Bharti through Zain's money transfer platform zap."As a bank we are still open to deal with more providers to scale up on this product," said Ade Ayeyemi Citibank Kenya managing director.

- Botswana’s Public Enterprises Evaluation and Privatisation Agency (PEEPA) has said that an initial public offering (IPO) for fixed line incumbent Botswana Telecommunications Corporation (BTC) is likely to take place after the end of the operator’s financial year in March 2011. Local news source Mmegi Online reports that a 49% stake in BTC will be sold to investors and BTC employees, while the government will retain the remaining 51%.