Money News - In Brief

Mergers, Acquisitions and Financial Results

- Liberian mobile network operator Comium Liberia has been sold to Lebanese businessman George Abou Joaude for USD18 million. The unconfirmed source says that the influential entrepreneur, who works in Liberia, has close ties to the country’s ‘first family’, and that in fact Abou Joaude is acting as a ‘front’ for the first family in the alleged sale. The sale of GSM operator Comium Liberia includes the assumption of local debt. The cellco was recently informed by the Liberia Telecommunications Authority (LTA) that its licence would be cancelled unless it resolved certain debts owed to the government. The Heritage goes on to suggest that the sketchy report alleges that Mr Abou Jaoude plans to re-sell Comium Liberia to make ‘a huge profit for him and a member of the first family’. Neither Abou Jaoude nor Comium could be reached for comment, although the commissioner for public and consumer affairs at the LTA, Mr Lamini Warity, reportedly confirmed that shares of Comium Liberia have indeed been sold.
 
- The Kenya ICT Board launched loan project focused on improving the information communication and technology (ICT) sector via Pasha Association of Kenya. The association has however revealed that the terms of loan repayment must be reviewed and phrase it as “very short yet the outcome is low.” Entrepreneurs are finding terms imposed on loan repayment unrealistic as the duration is short -- to allow for smooth implementation of the government project branded as Pasha (Digital village). The project, sponsored by the World Bank with KSh320 million (US$ 3,801,600), is targeted at promoting computer literacy as well as allow for easy Internet access. Loan is given to people who meet the ICT Board terms for duration of three years, at an interest rate of 10.5 percent per annum, to facilitate Kenya Transparency Communication Infrastructure Project (KTCIP). Late last month, Family bank released KSh28 million(332,640) to 26 investors for ICT development in different counties in the country while the first phase begun in April 2011 with Ksh 48 million (570,240) given to 37 entrepreneurs.KTCIP is a vision 2030 project that aspires to allow easy access and implementation of e-government to stir socio-economic growth.