Rocket Internet raises fresh capital after food spending spree

Disbelievers question emerging markets strategy unpredictable places

Reuters

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Germany's Rocket Internet went to investors with a capital hike just four months after its stock flotation, asking for fresh funds following a 1 billion euro spending spree that targets online food takeaway businesses as the next big thing.

The Berlin-based company, Europe's biggest Internet player thanks to its stakes in more than 100 start-ups ranging from fashion to finance, raised 1.4 billion euros ($1.6 billion) in its October IPO. It added a further 588 million euros on Friday that it said would allow it to continue to look around.

Etisalat to shift African units to Maroc Telecom

Middle Eastern telecoms giant Etisalat has reportedly agreed to sell six of its businesses in West Africa to Maroc Telecom in what amounts to a restructuring of its operations in advance of a Maroc Telecom takeover.

In November, the operator agreed to pay $5.8 billion for a 53% stake in Maroc Telecom (Rabat, Morocoo) being sold by France’s Vivendi (Paris).

Telecom Egypt pays $356 million for mobile license

Egyptian fixed-line incumbent Telecom Egypt has announced its EGP2.5 billion acquisition of a mobile license from the country’s authorities.

The license will allow the operator to provide mobile services alongside the fixed ones it already offers to consumers and businesses, using the local mobile networks of Etisalat (Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates), Orange (Paris, France) and Vodafone (Newbury, UK).

TeliaSonera restructures to improve customer focus, transparency

Scandinavian operator TeliaSonera has unveiled details of a restructuring aimed at improving its focus on customers and making it a more transparent organization from a corporate-governance perspective.

As a result of the new structure, TeliaSonera (Stockholm, Sweden) will split operations into three geographical divisions addressing needs in Europe, Eurasia and Sweden, its domestic market.

SAP and China Telecom to promote cloud services in China

German software giant SAP has announced plans to expand its strategic partnership with China Telecom into the field of cloud computing.

Under the agreement, China Datacom – a joint venture between SAP and China Telecom subsidiary China Communication Services (CCS) – will offer SAP’s cloud services to businesses in China.

According to SAP’s statement, CCS will also become the first local customer of SAP’s cloud services.

Portugal Telecom hit by forex weakness, domestic sales decline

Portugal Telecom has reported drops in revenue and earnings for the three months ending September due to the weakness of the Brazilian real and a slump in domestic sales.

The Portuguese incumbent flagged an 11.3% fall in operating revenues, to €1.45 billion ($1.95 billion), and said net income plummeted by 66.4%, to just €21 million, between the third quarters of 2012 and 2013.

Portugal Telecom (Lisbon, Portugal) said its performance in its domestic market continued to be affected by intense competition and poor macroeconomic conditions.

Vodacom revenues up 6.6% on customer growth, data explosion

South Africa’s Vodacom has reported a rise in revenues and earnings over the first six months of the year on the back of growth at its international operations and improved trends in its domestic market.

Majority owned by the UK’s Vodafone (Newbury), the operator said revenues were up by 6.6%, to ZAR36.7 billion ($3.55 billion), compared with the same period in 2012, while earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortization rose by 9.6%, to ZAR13.2 billion, over the same period.

Mobile to account for 8% of African GDP by 2020: GSMA

Mobile phone usage contributes more to the economy in Africa than to any other region in the world, according to new research from the GSM Association (GSMA).

The industry body reckons mobile accounts for more than 6% of Africa’s GDP and expects this figure to rise to about 8% by 2020.

Last year, it says, the mobile industry supported some 3.3 million jobs and contributed $21 billion to public funding in the region, including license fees, but it looks set to employ 6.6 million men and women and contribute $42 billion to public funding by 2020.

Vivendi sells Maroc Telecom stake to Etisalat for 4.2 billion euros

French telecoms and media conglomerate Vivendi says it has reached a €4.2 billion ($5.67 billion) deal with Etisalat over the sale of its 53% stake in Maroc Telecom.

The transaction still requires sign-off by regulatory authorities but Vivendi (Paris, France) is confident of concluding the sale by early 2014.

The French company describes the deal as a part of its strategy to refocus activities around media and content and away from telecoms.

Saudi Telecom reports 73% profit rise in third quarter

Saudi Telecom has flagged a sharp increase in quarterly profits thanks to the implementation of new cost-cutting measures, and says it is considering the sale of further assets to improve its fiscal position.

The Saudi Arabian incumbent reported a 73% increase in net income for the third quarter, to SAR3.39 billion ($904 million), compared with the same period a year earlier, while revenues for the first nine months of the year edged up by 2.5%, to SAR34.3 billion.

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