On The Money - In Brief

Mergers, Acquisitions and Financial Results

- BNP Paribas Consortium emerged as the highest bidder to become adviser to the National Council for Privatisation (NCP) on the privatisation of the Nigerian Telecommunications (NITEL) and its mobile outfit (MTEL).

- Mobinil, Egypt's largest mobile operator by subscribers, posted its sharpest single-day decline in almost three weeks, weighing on Egypt's market, after UBS lowered its price target. The Swiss bank cut its price target for Mobinil to LE 160 ($30) from LE 210, citing lower earnings forecasts and dividends paid in the year to date.

- Morocco and Spain have signed an agreement to ease e-money transfer. According to a press release of Poste Maroc, this service will be available through 1,000 offices in Morocco and 2,300 offices in Spain, where Moroccans are the largest foreign community with some 648,735 legal residents. In 2007, Moroccans living in Europe transferred $ 7.5 million to Morocco, said M. Alami, underlining that money transfer will increase in the next few years.

- Google has announced that it has taken a minority stake in Mobile Messaging Solutions, the parent company of Mobile Planet, a Nairobi-based company that specializes in the development of wireless voice & data applications for mobile devices in Kenya, with a special focus on SMS-based products and services. For example, during the 2002 & 2007 Kenyan elections, their platform provided up-to-the-minute election results -- as the results were tallied, subscribers were sent updates via SMS.