On The Money - In Brief

Mergers, Acquisitions and Financial Results

- Vodafone Group Chief Executive Arun Sarin said this the company had "important acquisitions in Asia and Africa that we have to make" in 2008. Sarin was speaking on Sky TV and gave no further details. In the meantime, speculation in the marketplace is that pan-African mobile provider MTN Group is in talks with Orascom Telecom Holdings (OTH) to purchase its shareholding in Mobinil. It is unclear whether MTN would purchase all of OTH's shareholding in Mobinil, or whether MTN will become a third, minority partner.

- Etisalat Misr, Egypt’s newest wireless network operator, has signed a USD845 million loan agreement with Arab Bank Group. The funds will be used to finance the cellco’s expansion plans. In less than seven months of operation Etisalat Misr has signed up three million subscribers.

- The post-election violence has further delayed the flotation of Kenya's Safaricom. The company has also calculated that it lost US$6.2 million due to airtime distribution problems caused by the recent civil unrest.

- Econet Wireless International has sold 49% of its shares to Essar Communication Holdings, a subsidiary of Indian conglomerate Essar Group, reports Business Daily Africa. The price for the stake was not disclosed, but according to law firm Anjarwalla & Khanna Advocates, who advised on the deal, Essar will provide close to US$500 million to fund Econet’s long-awaited rollout of mobile services in Kenya as well as other international projects.