MTN quarterly update


MTN reported a very positive quarterly update on Thursday the 3rd of May. I say positive because the cloud of uncertainty around the frequency fees and license disputes in Benin and Cameroon seem to be behind the company. More Benin than Cameroon at this point as the revised terms in Cameroon haven't been signed yet, however, the great news here is that Vodafone has pulled out of Cameroon which means more opportunity for MTN to grow its customers if they do come to an agreement with the Cameroonian government.


MTN FY numbers - maintain dividend


MTN back in the black! I went to the MTN results presentation yesterday which was held at the MTN Innovation Centre on 14th avenue in the West of Joburg. The share price of MTN closed up 10% yesterday from what seems like a better than expected set of numbers from a company in turnaround mode.


MTN quarterly update - things back on track


This morning, MTN released their Quarterly update for the period ended 30 September 2017. Off the bat, it looks like the things that they can control seem to be going well and the things beyond their control, like currency and regulation are hurting them.


MTN 6 month - Hurt by the currency


MTN released their first set of numbers under new management this morning, I'm pleased to see that the market reacted favourably to them. In constant currency the numbers looked okay, when converting everything back to Rands it looks rather horrible. In constant currency Revenues are up 6.7% (down 18.5% on actual currency) with Nigerian revenues up 11% and South Africa up 1.6%. The future of the business, data had a strong showing with a revenue increase of 31.9% or 9.6% in actual currency, with Nigeria growing by 70%, South Africa by 14% and Iran by 68%.


MTN FY numbers, in recovery mode


MTN had results yesterday. I guess the share price reaction tells you a lot about what the market thought, the stock definitely outpaced expectations, if you think that is important. It is at some level. The stock has disappointed bitterly after a period of sublime growth through the last decade, adding tons of customers and making sure that they were building out a continental champion, a brand that is well recognised alongside other multinationals, such as Coke. They are really that big in some territories. Michael is not a fan of MTN investor relations. I can see why, the presentation is still not up, the one from yesterday. That is, how should we say ..... not good. I sent a tweet to the MTNGroup handle, awaiting a reply.


MTN 9 month numbers - huge data growth


MTN reported numbers for their nine months to end September. Rob Shuter is going to join earlier than previously thought. 13 March next year, which is still a long way away. I guess it cannot actually come sooner for current chief Phuthuma Nhleko. As he is quoted in the SENS, he continues to shift more and more responsibilities to both Stephen Van Coller (who is the Vice President of Mergers and Acquisitions, as well as Strategy) and Gunter Engling, the acting CFO. Nhleko has stuck in some "hard targets" for the 12, 18 and 24 months, with the first half of the next financial year set to reveal the results of these targets.


MTN under investigation again in Nigeria


In the losing column near the top was MTN again, allegations from the Nigerian Senate Floor that the company has illegally repatriated 13.92 billion Dollars over a ten year period. What? As far as I understood it, the Nigerian Central Bank facilitates all of the ins and outs, right? They would know all the flows. The company this morning has suggested that the comments are completely unfounded and without any merit. Yech. More noise that detracts from the core business trying to empower ordinary citizens to get access to the internet. The more investment in the networks, the better and cheaper the internet will get for their users. Data in the developed world, where I am sorry to say this next part, is more business friendly, is more like a utility. And cheaper. So you use more of it across your devices and empower yourself. The better for ordinary citizens. The more you stifle business, the less they will invest. Yech, we watch it.


MTN Zakhele Futhi update


MTN has released the much anticipated Prospectus for MTN Zakhele Futhi (the new BEE scheme that will replace MTN Zakhele when it unwinds on 24 November 2016).The purpose of the MTN Zakhele Futhi Offer is to provide the Black Public with an opportunity to participate in the ownership of the MTN Group, either through the MTN Zakhele Futhi Public Offer or by continuing to participate therein through the MTN Zakhele Re-investment Offer. The MTN Zakhele Futhi offer is a part of the 2016 MTN BEE Transaction, which is sized to be approximately 4.0% of MTN's issued share capital on a Fully Diluted Basis.


MTN Zakhele Futhi


MTN Group came out with an interesting announcement that a lot of people have been waiting for with bated breath. To those who do not know what I am talking about, I am referring to the announcement of the new BBBEE scheme now going to be referred to as 'MTN Zakhele Futhi'.


MTN 6 month numbers - hurt by Nigerian fine


MTN Group reported numbers for their half year to end June this morning (Friday morning). It has been a tumultuous time for the mobile operator, lurching from one problem to the next, Iran and the hyperinflation (and sanctions, inability to externalise money), Nigeria and the whopping (if not borderline stupid) fine, price wars in the local market. There is a time when one questions the thesis over and over.


MTN 6 month trading update - swing to loss


MTN released a very mixed trading statement for the first six months of their financial year, it required very careful reading in order to catch all of it. Since the Nigerian fine resolution and payment terms have been finalised, there has been a certain amount of relief for shareholders. That does not remove the fact that trading conditions in some of their core territories are likely to be become any easier. There are unintended consequences of the way that they dealt with the fine that are potentially negative to the business, if only from a short term consumer perspective. We can't quantify the damage. Having said that, those with the infrastructure and ability to meet consumer needs, as a result of having spent heavily on a network when others were late, win in the end.


MTN gets new leadership


MTN in the news yesterday, firstly the Appointment of New MTN Group President & Chief Executive Officer was met with major excitement by Mr. Market, a man with a lot of experience and deal making activities, here he is - Robert Shuter. As you can see from a well maintained LinkedIn profile, Rob is currently Chief Executive Officer Europe Cluster at Vodafone. He was head of Investment Banking at Standard Bank once upon a time and for a long while was Managing Director for Nedbank Retail, before moving to Vodacom as the Chief Financial Officer.


MTN fine resolved


MTN have finally announced a settlement with the Nigerian government slash communications authorities. The announcement is pretty simple (excuse the poor format, not ours) - MTN - Nigerian fine update & cautionary withdrawal. As you can see, the fine is tiered, in terms of payment. The company will pay 330 billion Naira over three years. What amazes me about the release is this excerpt from the sentence detailing the fine - "the equivalent of USD1.671 billion at the official exchange rate and USD902 million at the Lagos Parallel Market Rate".


MTN FY numbers - Data growth still holding strong


MTN had results on Thursday, these were for their full year to end December, in what has been their toughest year in a decade and a half. I remember all those years back when they seemingly overpaid for a licence in Nigeria, only for it to turn out to be genius. We looked, we watched and we tried to understand what the market is making of the fine, the unresolved issues. I have chatted to many people about South African businesses going about their work in that territory, let us just say that it is strained at best. It is a bit like that here, somehow we pretend to stand together as a continent, in reality however the situation is different. Each territory has their fair share of challenges, each territory has a separate regulatory environment, in fairness all trying to achieve maximum coverage at a fair rate for their people.


MTN Goodfaith payment


MTN released a statement yesterday which the market responded to in a Goldilocks way. Not the best via the website white labelling: MTN-update on fine imposed and cautionary renewal. In short, the company will make "without prejudice good faith" a payment of 250 million Dollars. At the unicorn rate (the official rate) that is 50 billion Naira, at the street rate i.e the real life rate of 370 Naira to the Dollar, that is equal to 92.5 billion Naira. I swear, you cannot make this up, National newspapers are talking about the parallel rate in Nigeria on their websites: Nigerians Shun Money Transfer Agencies as Exchange Rate Gap Widens, the quote:


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