MTN, whose shares surged more than 7 per cent on the announcement, is reviewing its operations in some markets and its investments in e-commerce platforms, as part of a plan to focus on high-growth markets in the Middle East and Africa.
As part of the review, the South African company has agreed to sell its minority stake in Botswana’s Mascom for 300 million dollars. It sold its sole European unit in Cyprus last year.
MTN said its investments in tower companies and e-commerce platforms, such as African online retailer Jumia, were valued at 40 billion rand and would be sold as they were not long-term strategic assets.
“The group has committed to the portfolio review realizing more than 15 billion rand over the next three years, excluding any proceeds from its 23 billion rand position in IHS,” the company said. IHS is a builder of cell phone towers.
Shares in MTN jumped 7.2 per cent to 81.70 rand by 0731 GMT, outperforming a 0.5 per cent rise on the benchmark JSE Top-40 index
Founded with government help after the end of apartheid in 1994, MTN has been one of South Africa’s biggest corporate success stories, but clashes with regulators have distracted management and crimped growth.
Chief Executive Rob Shuter, appointed in 2017 from Vodafone, has drawn up a growth plan that includes branching out to music streaming and mobile financial services.
In 2018, the company reported an 85 per cent surge in headline EPS to 337 cents, underscoring the Shuter’s turnaround efforts from a devastating fine in Nigeria.
Headline EPS is the main profit measure in South Africa that strips out certain one-off items.
The bottom line is still not even half the level MTN reported in 2015, the year before it agreed to pay a 1.7 billion dollars fine in Nigeria for missing a deadline to cut off unregistered SIM card users.
The fine was reduced from more than 5 billion dollars after MTN made concessions, including a promise to list its Nigeria unit.
The flotation of MTN Nigeria, which accounts for a third of MTN’s revenues, is likely to take place by the end of June this year, the company said.
The unit has also been embroiled in other rows with the Nigerian authorities. It agreed to pay 53 million dollars in December to resolve a dispute with the Central Bank of Nigeria and is involved in a court battle with the Nigerian attorney general over 2 billion dollars in back taxes.
APC has done well for South East, says Igbokwe
He made the statement in Ikeja while speaking with newsmen during the inauguration of new executives of Ndigbo APC in Lagos State.
Igbokwe, also the Special Adviser to Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu on Drainage and Water Resources, urged more people from the South East to join the APC as the party meant well for the region and the country in general.
“I do not think there is any project bigger than the Second Niger Bridge in Nigeria now; the bridge is getting to completion.
“I know that by next year, the government would have finished the bridge. The same bridge that was used to dupe our people for 22 years will soon be completed,” he said.
Igbokwe said the inauguration of the executives was to further strengthen Ndigbo in APC Lagos to take the party to greater heights both in the state and at the national level.
He added that the group had the mandate to mobilise Ndigbo for the APC to ensure the party’s continued foothold in Lagos and the nation.
Igbokwe charged the new executives to discharge their duties without let or hinderance and ensure the growth of the party “from strength to strength”.
He dismissed reports in some quarters that there was division in Ndigbo APC in Lagos State.
The governor’s aide said that whoever was parading himself as apex leader of Ndigbo in Lagos APC outside of the group was an imposter as the group was not factionalized.
He called for support for Gov. Sanwoolu, saying the governor was doing his best to take the state to greater heights.
Speaking on behalf of the newly inaugurated executives, the Coordinator, Chief Uche Dimgba, thanked all members of the group, particularly Igbokwe, for the confidence reposed in them.
He also thanked the National Leader of APC, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, for giving all members of the party a sense of belonging.
Dimgba promised that he and other executive members of the Ndigbo in Lagos APC would do their best to move the party forward.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports the 15-member executive include Chief Chris Ekwulo(Deputy Coordinator);Princess Oby Onu(Women Leader);Chief Uche Babatata(Organising Secretary);and Mr Leo Obasi(Assistant Youth Leader).
South Sudan’s minister of East African Affairs dies
Michael Makuei Lueth, minister of information and broadcasting, described the deceased as a liberator and scholar who helped write the country’s Constitution in 2011.
He said there was no official confirmation of the cause of the death.
“We have lost a great man who contributed a lot in a liberation struggle and after liberation. He had ever been a servant of people, and with his death, we have lost a great man,” said Makuei.
Over 600 civilians killed across South Sudan in Q1: UN
JUBA, June 2 (Xinhua)–The UN peacekeeping Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) said Tuesday at least 658 were killed in the east African country between January and March.
The UNMISS human rights division in a report released in Juba documented more than 275 incidents of violence against civilians, in which 1,767 civilians were subjected to four major forms of harm.
The UNMISS investigation revealed the death of 658 civilians, 452 injuries, 592 abductions and 65 cases of sexual violence across the conflict-torn country.
UNMISS said the new data corresponds to a 94 percent increase in violence against civilians compared to the same period last year.
The report said that inter-communal violence constituted majority of violence affecting civilians.
“This is a direct result of the evolving nature of inter-communal conflict, which is often carried out with military-style tactics and military-grade weapons,” UNMISS said.
“During the reporting period, for instance, at least four separate attacks each claimed the lives of more than 50 civilians. Intercommunal violence varies significantly in scale and intensity,” it added.
Accelerating increase of COVID-19 cases seen in South Asian countries as Bangladesh records biggest daily jump
Asia-Pacific countries are still facing a growing outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic on Tuesday as Bangladesh recorded its highest daily increase, while India became the seventh country in the world in terms of infections.
A total of 37 more people including 33 men and four women died in the last 24 hours, taking the death toll to 709.
Bangladesh had earlier recorded highest 2,545 cases in a 24-hour period on Sunday.
India’s federal health ministry on Tuesday morning reported 204 new deaths and 8,171 positive cases during the past 24 hours across the country, taking the number of deaths to 5,598 and total cases to 198,706.
The number of recoveries further climbed to 4,063 after 84 more patients have recovered, and the death toll also increased to 966 after 6 more deaths were reported.
Of the new cases, 15 are imported cases while the five local transmissions were made up of 3 foreign nationals and two locals.
No new death is reported with the total standing at 115.
South Korea recorded 38 more infections compared to 24 hours ago as of 0:00 a.m. Tuesday local time, raising the total number of infections to 11,541.
The daily caseload stayed above 30 for two straight days due to small cluster infections from religious gatherings in the metropolitan area.
Iran close to containing forest wildfire in southwestern region
The Iranian authorities have largely contained the forest wildfire in the southwestern mountainous region, Iranian Students’ News Agency (ISNA) reported Tuesday.
Mohammad Javad Ashrafi, the managing director of Environmental Protection of Khuzestan Province, said the rescuers are working to bring the stretch of fire under full control.
The fire outbreaks in the west, southwest and south of Iran over the past weeks have completely burnt more than 300 hectares of forests and grasslands in Gachsaran County of Kohgiluyeh and Boyer-Ahmad Province as well as 200 hectares of forests in other parts of the province, according to the latest reports.
Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps and Army on Sunday deployed helicopters to the forests of the Zagros Mountains in the west and southwest of Iran to fight the fire.
Four South Sudan soldiers shot dead by Ugandan military in contested border area
Lul Ruia Koang, spokesperson for the South Sudan Defense Forces (SSPDF) said the incident between SSPDF forces and the Uganda People’s Defense Forces (UPDF) happened on Sunday after the two sides exchanged fire in a contested border area in the southern parts of the country.
“UPDF soldiers opened fire on our soldiers in Buya and as a result, they killed four on the spot and wounded another,” the spokesperson told Xinhua by phone.
The disputed area is claimed by communities of Kajo-Keji county of Central Equatoria state in South Sudan and their neighbors from Yumbe district of Uganda.
Koang said the SSPDF soldiers were conducting foot patrol to enforce cross-border movement restrictions at the time of the clashes.
“The area where our servicemen were killed is a disputed area,” the spokesperson said, adding that calm has since returned to the region after the two governments agreed to investigate the cause of the fighting.
“We have requested for an investigation to be conducted so that we know why they opened fire on soldiers who were on foot patrol and does not pose any threat to them,” he said.
Fighters of UN-backed government seen in southern Tripoli
South African healthcare company cross-lists on Rwanda Stock Exchange
Pierre Celestin Rwabukumba, chief executive of the RSE, said in a statement issued here that the listing signals the diversification for investors in Rwanda and the region.
“This is a double plus and a major milestone to the nascent Kigali International Financial Center in its formation stage. It sends another message out there, that we can achieve capital formation from Africans, by Africans and for Africans,” Rwabukumba said.
“We believe this will provide investment opportunities to thousands of Rwandans and other regional investors willing to invest in the stock market since it now makes it convenient to invest in the company right here in Rwanda,” Zunga said.
COVID-19: South African-based firm donates palliatives to vulnerable in FCTA
A South African Real Estate Investment Company based in Nigeria, Novare, has donated palliatives to the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) to help vulnerable communities cushion the effect of COVID-19.
Head of Legal of the company, Mr Chineme Onuoma, while presenting the items on Monday in Abuja, assured that the company would continue to support the FCT and Government of Nigeria in the fight against COVID-19.
The News Agency of Nigeria , reports that the items donated included 100 bags of 50kg rice, 245 cartons of indomie noddle, 100 cartons of spaghetti, 100 cartons of vegetable oil and 75 cartons of tomato paste .
He commended the steps taken by the administration to manage the pandemic in the territory.
Onuoma revealed that aside the provisions of palliatives to underserved communities, Novare had approved four months rent-free period, beginning from April 2020 to July 2020 with the intention to extend if necessary for its tenants.
“Particularly those tenants providing non-essential services as described by the Federal Government.
“Each of Novare’s mall accommodates over 60 tenants, having Shoprite and Game as its anchor tenant, with over 600 direct employees and well over 2, 000 indirect employees in each mall, including suppliers of the different goods and products sold by the tenants at the mall.
“To ensure that jobs and livelihoods are protected, starting from those closest to it, Novare, as part of its Corporate Social Responsibility, has so far approved four months rent-free period, beginning from April 2020 to July 2020.
“The rent-free concession granted to tenants have helped to keep their various businesses afloat, thus alleviating the financial burden on these tenants.
“This financial assistance enables the tenants to channel the income they generate to payment of staff salaries and sustaining their respective supply chains.
“This effectively reduces unemployment, which would have been the consequence if tenants were unable to survive this period,” Onuoma said.
He also stated that the firm had expressed commitment to observe all laid down protocols by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), on the prevention of the spread of the virus particularly within its facilities and to educate and sensitize the public in line with government directives.
Receiving the items, FCT Minister of State, Dr Ramatu Aliyu, commended the thoughtfulness of the firm especially in supporting the vulnerable with palliative items.
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