On The Money - In Brief

Mergers, Acquisitions and Financial Results

- Brett Goschen, CEO of MTN Ghana, has said the telecom market leader in Ghana would float shares in the near future to enable Ghanaians to own part of and share in the success of the company. He told journalists that the only stumbling block to the floating of shares was the ongoing legal tussle over the ownership of the company, where two individuals have taken MTN to court claiming to be shareholders.

- Orange Uganda has reported a $150m (about sh300b) investment for the year 2008/2009. While the $100m was the initial investment, $50m is invested annually for expanding the network coverage. The coming of Orange has created direct employment of 180 Ugandans and indirect employment for more than 1,000 others.

- The Gambian leader, Professor Alhaji Dr Yahya Jammeh, last week, received in audience officials of the Batigroupe consortium, an investment firm based in Dakar, Senegal. Nigerian Batigroupe consortium, is said to have reached an advanced stage in its discussions with the Gambian leader for possible investment in the country's communication and technology sector.

- Mobile banking services provider Monitise and East African organisation Made in Africa have partnered to create a joint venture called Monitise East Africa. The service will be launched initially in Uganda this autumn, followed by Rwanda, Tanzania, Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Kenya and Zambia. The venture plans to create a mobile money multi-bank and multi-operator ‘ecosystem' across the region. Aimed at both the banked and unbanked, the service will enable consumers to manage their money and make payments using financial accounts.

- Mark Shuttleworth's venture capital company (VC), Here Be Dragons (HBD), is looking to make an investment of between R10 million and R25 million in an early stage business this year. The VC is searching for companies with innovative ideas, which can be expanded internationally.