Money – In Brief

Mergers, Acquisitions and Financial Results

- India’s largest mobile network operator in terms of subscribers, Bharti Airtel has reported a hefty drop in net profit in its 2010-11 fiscal year, as a result of foreign exchange restatement losses, rebranding expenses and increased spectrum charges at its domestic unit. Commenting on the results Bharti Airtel chairman Sunil Bharti Mittal noted: ‘Bharti Airtel exhibited strong performance this year. The new Airtel brand has been a tremendous success in all our 19 countries. In India, we have been focusing on building a robust 3G network to meet the increasing data needs of a young population. In Africa, we are rapidly expanding our network coverage, improving distribution width and increasing our efficiency and productivity standards.’

- MTN Rwanda plans to develop more applications on its mobile money transfer service to allow more transactions and tap into the booming demand for the facility. The firm announced it had transferred over Rwf12 billion ($201 million) since its launch last year with an estimated 6,000 transactions carried out daily. It has so far attracted 261,000 users and 310 agents across the country.

- The Central Bank of Nigeria has ordered telecommunications companies in the country to begin offering mobile money transfer services. It added that they want the telecom operators to begin rolling this service out as quickly as possible. The CBN recently granted approval in principle to 16 operators last year to roll out mobile money networks across the country. CBN director Abayomi Atoloye said the operators “were given provisional approvals and four months (January to April) to prove their capacities to roll out mobile money networks in the country.”

- Altech Technology Concepts, a subsidiary of the JSE-listed Altech Group, has signed a partnership agreement with London’s Telehouse to manage its data centres. Telehouse is a subsidiary of Japanese telecommunications business KDDI and has offices around the world, including in Cape Town and Johannesburg. As part of the deal, Telehouse will facilitate communication and connectivity from Technology Concept’s point-of-presence (POP) in Telehouse London to the rest of the world.