|Bid||17.50 x 21500|
|Ask||18.40 x 800|
|Day's Range||18.25 - 18.62|
|52 Week Range||15.53 - 23.12|
|Beta (3Y Monthly)||0.86|
|PE Ratio (TTM)||N/A|
|Forward Dividend & Yield||0.93 (5.10%)|
|1y Target Est||26.25|
The scam was the result of undetectable malware which signed us up for a “games service” via our Vodafone phone contract, and extracted cash from our bank account over several months in the process. The company in question, seemingly based in Spain, appeared to provide “games services”, although we had absolutely no idea what these would be, given we had never played any games on this particular phone.
(Bloomberg) -- Three companies — Amazon.com Inc., Microsoft Corp. and Alphabet Inc. — quietly dominate the world of cloud computing.With more more than 100 giant data centers worldwide, they rent out computing power to all manner of customers, making billions of dollars along the way. In fact, cloud computing has done more to fuel Amazon’s earnings in recent years than its e-commerce business.But there’s a threat looming on the horizon, quite literally at the edge of the network. With so many mobile devices and sensors now connected to the internet — and relying on artificial intelligence — more people and companies need their computing power close to them. For everything from fast analysis of road conditions to streaming holographic concerts, remote data centers are just too far away.That’s going to hand a huge opportunity to wireless carriers, which are building fast 5G networks to handle the task. And create a threat for the dominant cloud-computing players, according to telecom analyst Chetan Sharma. “Over time, cloud will be primarily used for storage and running longer computational models, while most of the processing of data and AI inference will take place at the edge,” said Sharma, who just wrote a report on the topic sponsored by software provider AlefEdge Inc. He pegs the size of this so-called edge-computing market at more than $4 trillion by 2030.Wireless carriers and the owners of cell towers have a big advantage in the edge-computing race: Not only do they control access to high-speed telecommunications networks, they have valuable real estate, such as tens of thousands of cell sites all over the country.Cloud computing isn’t going away by any means. But there’s more pressure on the industry’s Big Three to team up with wireless carriers, so they’re not left out of the burgeoning edge market.“The big players realize that at a minimum they need to partner up with operators to get access to their real-estate property,” Sharma said.Already, AT&T Inc. — the second-largest U.S. wireless carrier — has joined forces with Microsoft Corp. and IBM Corp., two cloud providers.“Our goal is that our partners are wildly successful,” said Sam George, a cloud executive at Microsoft. “If our partners are wildly successful, we’ll be wildly successful. There’s a lot of money to be made for partners.”Amazon and Google declined to comment on their plans.AT&T has hundreds of workers focused on edge computing, and it’s “a core part of our 5G strategy,” said Mo Katibeh, chief marketing officer of AT&T’s business division.“This is one that takes a village.”IBM, meanwhile, is also working with carrier Vodafone Group Plc in Europe.“The networks are essentially themselves becoming a cloud,” said Steve Canepa, IBM’s global managing director for the telecom industry. “The telcos today have a point of presence at the edge, and that becomes a great place to have an extension of the platform.”Cloud providers in China — such as Alibaba Group Holdings Ltd. and Tencent Holdings Ltd. — invested in carrier China Unicom two years ago. And more such investments and partnerships could be coming, Sharma said.For other tech companies, including chipmakers like Intel Corp., the hope is the shift leads to a bigger opportunity for everyone.“We see a rapid convergence between the cloud providers and connectivity providers,” said Caroline Chan, a general manager at Intel. “In our view, it’s a bigger pie.”Other telecom players are angling to team up with both carriers and cloud providers. Crown Castle International Corp., which owns fiber lines as well as more than 40,000 cell towers in the U.S., is in talks with the two camps, said Paul Reddick, a vice president at the company.Crown Castle also is an investor in startup Vapor IO, which is deploying edge computing this year in six metro areas, including Chicago.“I would say this is one that takes a village,” Reddick said.Other projects are already well underway. At CenturyLink Inc., about 100 facilities that used to store telecom equipment are now outfitted with servers. And it’s making them available to corporate customers in sectors like retail and industrial robotics.“We’ve already sold these facilities to a number of customers that need to get that compute closer to the network edge,” said Paul Savill, a senior vice president at CenturyLink. “We’ve seen enough activity in this space that we can confidently build out this infrastructure.”To contact the author of this story: Olga Kharif in Portland at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Nick Turner at email@example.comFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
Lately it's hard to get away from all the trade-war headlines. In the meantime, many investors are missing the other "trade war" -- the one involving 5G stocks.And there's been some interesting developments there that I'd like to call to your attention today.Pretty much all the big mobile carriers, from AT&T (NYSE:T) to Verizon (NYSE:VZ), are racing to roll out their own network with the superfast 5G technology. Overseas, Vodafone (NASDAQ:VOD) has been rolling out 5G across Europe and, soon, New Zealand.InvestorPlace - Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading TipsBut before you can use a 5G network, you've got to have a 5G phone. And really, that race is between Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), Samsung, and Huawei. * 10 Marijuana Stocks to Ride High on the Farm Bill Apple is expected to introduce 5G next year -- with a 5G iPhone, plus a 5G MacBook. (Yes, a MacBook with cellular service!)Samsung has them beat. It got there in April, with the Galaxy S10 5G.Now, Huawei is pulling into second place in the 5G race. On Friday, it began selling its Mate 20 X 5G phone at home in China.Source: Huawei Huawei was no household name here in the United States until it got caught in the trade war. You may recall that in May, the U.S. government "blacklisted" Huawei. Once the 90-day grace period is up, American firms will no longer be allowed to even supply parts for Huawei phones.But there's a reason U.S. companies (and everyone else) are eager to do business in China:China has over 1.4 billion people. In other words, nearly one-fifth of humanity lives there. Not only is China the largest country by population… it's also the second-largest economy.And that economy is booming -- I've seen it with my own eyes. I was just in China this spring, and quickly reported back in Investment Opportunities about the opportunity I saw there. Skyscrapers are cropping up as fast as weeds in your yard. Most importantly, there remains a huge, untapped market of potential customers for smart devices. And those customers will want 5G.The World's Biggest Investor in 5GThe story here is much bigger than a Huawei phone. 5G is central to the country's "Made in China 2025" plan. But even in the current five-year plan (2015 to 2020), China set aside $400 billion for 5G investment. (That's roughly equivalent to the entire market cap of Alibaba (NYSE:BABA), the "Amazon of China.")When Deloitte ran those numbers through 2018, it found that China had outspent the United States by $24 billion on 5G infrastructure.As a result, China will be a huge testing ground for: * Super-fast smartphones from Huawei, running on 5G networks from China's state-owned mobile providers, like China Mobile (NYSE:CHL). * Smart highways. Speaking of China Mobile, that company is working on smart toll stations, plus traffic-tracking devices powered by artificial intelligence, which will help the country implement autonomous vehicles. * In addition to self-driving cars, there'll be self-driving buses. In the city of Zhengzhou - roughly 450 miles southwest of Beijing, where I stayed in May - the bus company Yutong is already testing electric buses that are autonomous… and avoid collisions by communicating via 5G. * Smart streetlamps. Yes, even the streetlamps will connect to the 5G network. The lamps will be automatically adjusted, depending on the time of day and the weather conditions (making them more energy-efficient).The possibilities are pretty much endless.But they're just that -- possibilities -- until you have the right hardware.That's true of any tech trend. It was true in the 1990s, when Cisco Systems (NASDAQ:CSCO) provided the "plumbing" that got all our homes and businesses connected to the internet. It was true in the 2000s, when Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM) provided the chips that made the first iPhones work. (And they're still in the iPhones of today, for that matter.)Here's the key with 5G: All of those devices need to be powered.That's why any investor needs to be on the lookout for the next big breakthrough in battery technology. It's an innovation that will have multi-trillion-dollar economic implications:Think of a world with self-driving electric cars that have massive ranges. Think of an iPhone that needs charging just once per month. Think of mass adoption of clean solar and wind energy. Think of airplanes that run on batteries. Think of the eventual demise of the oil and gas industry.This is where we're headed -- but there are some serious limitations to the current technology! Lithium-ion batteries are too bulky, without enough battery life, and with too many safety concerns, not to mention the fact that key materials are in short supply. That's why I believe the next big battery breakthrough will go down as one of the greatest inventions of the 21st century.I've spent an enormous amount of time studying the battery industry. I can tell you this mega innovation isn't a matter of "if," it's a matter of "when." Click here for my presentation with the results of my research. That way, you can get in on this trend BEFORE the world catches on.Insiders are already calling this potential new battery a "paradigm shift" in energy technology. Forbes calls it simply: "The battery that could change the world."Folks who get in on this breakthrough now, BEFORE it's rolled out on a mass scale, will have the chance to be a part of perhaps the single largest legal creation of wealth in the last 25 years.I can share with you what I've learned and show you how to profit. Click here to learn more.Matthew McCall left Wall Street to actually help investors -- by getting them into the world's biggest, most revolutionary trends BEFORE anyone else. The power of being "first" gave Matt's readers the chance to bank +2,438% in Stamps.com (STMP), +1,523% in Ulta Beauty (ULTA) and +1,044% in Tesla (TSLA), just to name a few. Click here to see what Matt has up his sleeve now. More From InvestorPlace * 2 Toxic Pot Stocks You Should Avoid * 10 Marijuana Stocks to Ride High on the Farm Bill * 8 Biotech Stocks to Watch After the Q2 Earnings Season * 7 Unusual, Growth-Oriented REITs to Buy for Your Portfolio The post For 5G Stocks, the Race Just Heated Up Big Time appeared first on InvestorPlace.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- In France, they call it taking mustard after dinner. In Germany, they talk about a child having already fallen in the well. In England, they speak of closing the stable door after the horse has bolted.They all are good ways of describing how regulators have tended to deal with the world’s biggest tech firms. But when it comes to Facebook Inc.'s digital coin, Europe's antitrust watchdog seems to be intent on breaking with this previous inaction.Bloomberg News reported on Tuesday that the European Commission is scrutinizing the two-month-old Libra project and the group backing it amid concern the currency will be detrimental to competition. This is a good sign the regulator will do something about it.That’s welcome because antitrust authorities have, over the years, repeatedly failed to prevent the sort of practices which have cemented the dominance of Silicon Valley firms in their target markets. Regulators then struggle to rebalance the market after the fact.Some past decisions look misguided in hindsight. The most obvious are Google’s $3.2 billion acquisition of DoubleClick in 2008, which cemented the search giant’s control over digital ads, and Facebook’s purchases of Instagram and WhatsApp – deals that made it the preeminent social network.Facebook’s plan should give regulators plenty of reasons for concern. The organization administering the digital currency, the Libra Association, comprises 28 members so far, but the extent of Facebook’s leading role warrants closer examination.QuicktakeWhy Everybody (Almost) Hates Facebook’s Digital CoinThe motivation for many of the members seems at this stage to be a fear of missing out. After all, Facebook’s 2.4 billion monthly active users give it unparalleled scale. But that could also be construed as the Menlo Park, California-based firm abusing a dominant position: Members of the association might feel they can’t risk being left out, so have little choice but to take part.The group includes most of the world’s biggest payments companies: Mastercard Inc., Visa Inc., Paypal Holdings Inc., Stripe Inc. and Vodafone Group Plc, whose M-Pesa mobile money transfer service is dominant in parts of Africa.That means it could be seen as a horizontal agreement, according to Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Aitor Ortiz. Those kind of arrangements may be acceptable in certain cases if they benefit the end user, but are normally anti-competitive if they consolidate the influence of a discrete group at the expense of consumers or rivals.Facebook has said that it won’t push ahead with Libra until it has secured all the necessary regulatory approvals. The European Commission’s message seems to be: Don’t push your luck. If the group fails to pay heed, it risks fines and punishments further down the line. That will make it harder to sign up new partners who are unwilling to expose themselves to such regulatory hazards.One has to wonder whether the growing regulatory scrutiny the currency is attracting will make the project worth the effort for Facebook. For sure, the social networking giant needs to find a way to diversify its revenue away from advertising. But I’m unconvinced that Libra does that.If anything, it will become another pillar of the advertising business by supplying valuable data on purchasing intent: every time you make a purchase using Facebook’s digital wallet, you give the company a better understanding of what you’re buying and why.All this highlights the contradiction at the heart of Libra: if it is truly independent, what’s in it for Facebook? Regulators are right to press for an answer.To contact the author of this story: Alex Webb at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Edward Evans at email@example.comThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Alex Webb is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering Europe's technology, media and communications industries. He previously covered Apple and other technology companies for Bloomberg News in San Francisco.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
Dish Wireless requires $10 billion for its network buildout, but it only has $1.9 billion in the bank. The FCC bars it from selling spectrum to raise cash.
(Bloomberg) -- There are signs that the battered stocks of companies focused on the South African economy have suffered enough, said Credit Suisse.Investors should start to accumulate these shares, funding this by booking profit on rand hedges that benefited from weakness in the currency, while keeping South Africa at benchmark levels in an emerging-market portfolio, London-based Alexander Redman and Arun Sai wrote in a note.Negative sentiment has reduced domestic South African stocks to the cheapest compared with emerging-market peers in almost a decade on a price-to-future-earnings basis, the analysts said. They offer a dividend yield 56% higher than the emerging-market aggregate, while rand hedges yield less than half that of developing nation shares.There are reasons to be more optimistic, the Credit Suisse analysts said. They expect some appreciation in the rand, while predictions about South African economic growth are overly pessimistic. Sturdier household finances suggest consumer spending may recover, while the earnings outlook for domestic companies is improving. Plus, there’s evidence that heavy foreign selling of South African assets may almost be done.South African value stocks creating yield plays include First Rand Ltd., Standard Bank Group Ltd., Vodacom Group Ltd., Sanlam Ltd., Nedbank Group Ltd., RMB Holdings Ltd., Exxaro Resources Ltd. and Mr Price Group Ltd., the analysts said.“During our June/July investor roadshow we noted that the intensity of questions we fielded relating to domestic South Africa from emerging equity managers had discernibly increased relative to previous trips,” they wrote.\--With assistance from James Cone.To contact the reporter on this story: Adelaide Changole in Nairobi at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Blaise Robinson at email@example.com, John Viljoen, Paul JarvisFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
Facebook (FB) has joined with Naspers (NPSNY) and former Vodafone (VOD) CEO Arun Sarin to inject $125 million of fresh capital into Meesho.
(Bloomberg) -- Facebook Inc. is participating in a $125 million fundraising for an Indian startup that is aiming to bring more commerce to social networks like, well, Facebook.Meesho, based in Bangalore, is what’s known in the tech industry as a social commerce startup, allowing people to build connections online and then sell through services such as Facebook and its WhatsApp and Instagram services. The funding round was led by South Africa’s Naspers Ltd. and also included Sequoia, Shunwei Capital, Venture Highway and Arun Sarin, the former chief executive officer of Vodafone Group Plc.Meesho is part of a crop of new e-commerce companies that are trying to take advantage of social connections to facilitate sales. The startup says that it has a network of more than 2 million “social sellers” in 700 towns across India, focusing on categories like apparel, wellness and electronics.“Our social sellers are small retailers, women, students and retired citizens, with 70% being homemakers who have found financial freedom and a business identity without having to step outside their homes,” said Vidit Aatrey, Meesho co-Founder and CEO.India has become an increasingly competitive market for e-commerce, the last unclaimed major country after Amazon.com Inc. took hold of the U.S. and Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. won China. Amazon is spending billions to gain share in India, while Walmart Inc. paid $16 billion for control of local leader Flipkart Online Service Pvt.Naspers has a history of backing startups in China and India -- and reaping big profits. It invested in China’s gaming giant Tencent Holdings Ltd. and India’s Flipkart, before the Walmart purchase. It led a $1 billion funding round in the Bangalore-based online food company Swiggy in December.Naspers shares have risen 23% this year, valuing the company at about $98 billion.\--With assistance from Loni Prinsloo.To contact the reporter on this story: Saritha Rai in Bangalore at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Peter Elstrom at email@example.com, Edwin ChanFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- Phone carriers are huge energy users, and need to cut emissions. They also face massive bills to build out the next generation of wireless networks. Green bonds promise to help them with both.A steady flow of issuance could be building: Orange SA and BT Group Plc are poised to follow Telefonica SA and Verizon Communications Inc. in selling securities designed to fund environmentally friendly projects. The industry has already completed at least $3 billion of sales since January, its first steps into a sustainable debt market that Bloomberg New Energy Finance estimates could exceed $370 billion this year.The proceeds can help telecom companies replace power-hungry copper wires with fiber-optic cables, or build the 5G networks that promise to make cities, homes and factories more efficient. There’s plenty of investor appetite for this new take on sustainable investing, but there’s a catch: any hint that a bond doesn’t genuinely help the planet can cause some buyers to flee.“Telecoms have to invest a lot. In the long run, having green bonds in place is going to be very important,’’ said Juuso Rantala, who holds Telefonica’s green bond in the 400 million-euro ($449 million) fund he manages at Aktia Asset Management Ltd. in Finland. “If I find out that I cannot trust the company in the case of green bonds, I cannot trust them in many other ways too. If I cannot trust them, I don’t invest.’’The securities show how green debt is expanding beyond its original universe of the clean energy industry. Beef supplier Marfrig Global Foods SA and Australian retailer Woolworths Group Ltd. have tapped this market to help their operations become more environmentally friendly.For carriers, the task is urgent. The communications industry accounts for about 10% of global electricity demand, and that could exceed 20% by 2030 as demand for data balloons, according to Huawei Technologies Co.Telecom companies have ways to clean up their act. For example, replacing copper with glass wires would use 85% less energy, according to Telefonica. And 5G can enable a range of environmental benefits by allowing smart buildings to monitor heating, connected warehouses to optimize their logistics and power grids to better allocate electricity.But these companies are already staggering under a mountain of debt from, among other things, buying 5G licenses. They’ll need to make sure they can keep their borrowing costs low and tap investors when needed.That’s where green bonds can help: the interest costs are about the same as on these companies’ conventional securities, but they offer the opportunity to access a wider pool of investors.The share of funds focused on socially responsible investing, which includes environmental projects, has risen 34% over the last two years, and now accounts for $30.7 trillion of assets globally, according to the investor group Global Sustainable Investment Alliance.“Many more green telco bonds are likely,” Morgan Stanley analysts led by Emmet Kelly wrote in June. “Demand from funds that have incorporated sustainability into their investment framework has been key.’’Telefonica, based in Madrid, is a good example. Demand for the issue, which priced in January, was significant: the company received five times the orders than what was available for sale, and obtained a spread more than the mid-swap rate that was about 25 basis points lower than initial indications.The yield on the 1 billion-euro 5-year security is in line with the rest of its curve, Bloomberg data show, indicating it didn’t have to pay a premium to tap demand for sustainable credit. It’s a similar story for Verizon and Vodafone Group Plc.Orange and BT Group are paying attention -- they have inserted clauses into their Eurobond prospectuses which would let them issue green bonds in the near future. And Deutsche Telekom AG is monitoring the surging market closely, said a spokesman.For investors, the risks go beyond what’s expected for any fixed-income asset. Buyers also have consider just how green these bonds are.“The question is whether or not a bond offers a real energy efficiency gain or overall gain for the environment,’’ said Arnaud-Guilhem Lamy, who holds telecom securities in his 340 million-euro ($381 million) green bond fund at BNP Paribas Asset Management in Paris. “If we think it’s insufficient, we would sell.’’For a start, there’s always the possibility that this new breed of green-bond borrowers divert proceeds to inappropriate purposes, including pooling them into general funds. Though monitoring groups such as credit rating firms can discourage such behavior, it’s something investors need to watch.But 5G presents a particular environmental paradox.Internet-of-things technologies will connect billions more devices and require many more antennas, so 5G will initially use more power than 4G, according to Sustainalytics, an independent corporate sustainability research firm. This complicates the idea that 5G can be a green investment.However, Sustainalytics estimates the energy savings from 5G outweigh the extra emissions to deploy the new tech by a ratio of 5 to 1. The firm’s analysis of the Verizon bond issue, which included 5G deployment among the potential use of proceeds, found that it was a credible candidate for green financing.It’s a good thing, because Verizon plans on returning to this corner of the bond market. It looks like it will be welcome, too – its $1 billion issue of 10-year green debt was eight times oversubscribed within six hours of being offered for sale, said Jim Gowen, head of supply chain and sustainability for the U.S. carrier.“It was far beyond our wildest expectations,” Gowen said. “We are very interested in doing another one.’’\--With assistance from Paul Cohen and Lyubov Pronina.To contact the reporter on this story: Thomas Seal in London at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Rebecca Penty at email@example.com, Jennifer RyanFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- Reality is beginning to bite in the FTSE 100 as some high-yielding stocks give up on generous dividends. But many British companies are still continuing to offer jaw-dropping payouts when what investors really crave is growth.The dividend culture of the FTSE 100 has long been an oddity. Its investors have received a far higher proportion of their total returns from income over the last two decades than if they had invested in, say, the S&P 500 over the same period.With dividends a very British symbol of corporate confidence, boards are reluctant to cut them even when it might be wise to do so. So the FTSE 100 culture has been self-reinforcing.This year has brought some signs of change. Centrica Plc slashed its payout last week. Analysts had expected the utility to announce a deep cut, but not by nearly 60%. Vodafone Group Plc snipped its dividend in May. And last month, tobacco giant Imperial Brands Plc dropped a commitment to grow its payout 10% annually.Yet even now, these companies’ share prices look superficially cheap on a dividend basis, with yields (the dividend divided by the share price) of between 6% and 10%.Indeed, such ratios are nowadays pretty common in the U.K. The average dividend for the top 15 highest-yielding stocks is worth 9% of the share price. The standard explanation – that this signals dividend cuts in the coming years – doesn’t fit very well. Take analysts’ predictions for dividends in three years; even with some cuts forecast, the average yield for this group is still 9%.This is especially odd in a low-rate environment. Yields on some government bonds and high-rated corporate debt are negative or zero. Surely income investors would buy these dividend stocks if the return provided by their annual cash payouts was only 5% rather than double that level? Wouldn’t that provide sufficient compensation for the added risk?One explanation is simply that international investors just don’t care for yield anymore. Domestic U.K. income funds probably would be willing to pay more for these stocks and bid down their yields. But this group isn’t driving the market. Global investors are. They covet growth and don’t want exposure to the U.K. until there’s clarity about Brexit. The average expected increase in sales over the next two years for the top-15 yielding U.K. blue-chip stocks is under two percent. Of course, if the companies aren’t growing, it’s likely because of past under-investment caused by overly-generous dividends. But cutting dividends now to invest in growth won’t pay off for some time and would only infuriate the small pool of domestic investors who actually like the income. Meanwhile, global investors sit on the sidelines and company managers stand frozen like a deer in the headlights.To contact the author of this story: Chris Hughes at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Stephanie Baker at email@example.comThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Chris Hughes is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering deals. He previously worked for Reuters Breakingviews, as well as the Financial Times and the Independent newspaper.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- Helios Towers, one of sub-Saharan Africa’s largest mobile-phone tower operators, is reviving plans for an initial public offering, people familiar with the matter said.The company’s advisers are resuming preparations for an IPO that could value Helios at about $3 billion, according to the people. It is considering filing for the share sale as soon as this year, the people said. The tower owner is weighing London and Johannesburg as listing venues, though it hasn’t made a final decision, one of the people said.In March last year, Helios announced its intention for an initial public offering in London and Johannesburg to let shareholders such as Soros Fund Management LLC reduce their stakes. It quickly abandoned the plans with little explanation, saying two weeks later its owners had decided against a listing despite receiving “considerable interest” from potential investors.Any deal would add to the $1.8 billion of IPOs by telecommunications-related companies this year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Helios was one of a number of tower owners, including fellow African operator IHS Towers Ltd., that abandoned listing plans last year.Helios’s shareholders include investment firms backed by British banker Jacob Rothschild and former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, as well as the World Bank’s International Finance Corp. and Millicom International Cellular SA.No final decisions have been made, and Helios could still decide against selling shares for now, the people said. A representative for Helios declined to comment.Helios has more than 6,700 towers spread across five African countries, serving customers including Airtel Africa Plc, MTN Group Ltd. and Vodacom Group Ltd. It’s the only independent tower operator in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Tanzania and Republic of Congo, according to its website. Helios also has operations in Ghana and launched in South Africa this year.To contact the reporters on this story: Myriam Balezou in London at firstname.lastname@example.org;Loni Prinsloo in Johannesburg at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Dinesh Nair at firstname.lastname@example.org, ;Rebecca Penty at email@example.com, Ben Scent, Amy ThomsonFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
Legendary fund manager Li Lu (who Charlie Munger backed) once said, 'The biggest investment risk is not the volatility...
(Bloomberg) -- Top South African businessmen called upon to help save ailing state-owned companies are abandoning their posts, frustrated by indecision and political interference.Post Office Chief Executive Officer Mark Barnes, a former investment banker, on Thursday became the latest chief executive officer to quit. His announcement came after former banking executive Phakamani Hadebe left power utility Eskom Holdings SOC Ltd. and ex-Vodacom executive Vuyani Jarana resigned from South African Airways last month.The departures highlight the quandary confronting South African President Cyril Ramaphosa. His plans to revive the country’s faltering economy are floundering because of infighting in the ruling party and legal challenges that are undermining his authority.“It’s become increasingly obvious to private-sector talent that there is too much micro-management going on and too much political balancing and interference, which blocks decision-making,” said Peter Attard Montalto, the head of capital markets research at research company Intellidex. “Ultimately it means if all this plays out that talent levels decline.”The walk-out of top talent has forced the government to often appoint placeholder executives. Four critical state institutions -- Eskom, transport and logistics company Transnet SOC Ltd., South African Airways and state pension-fund manager the Public Investment Corp. -- all have acting CEOs.The circumstances under which executives have departed various entities were decidedly different, said Adrian Lackay, a spokesman for the Public Enterprises Ministry, which oversees the biggest state companies, including Eskom and SAA. The government will prioritize strengthening and reconfiguring their boards, and vacant CEO posts will be filled as soon as possible, he said.It’s not a wholesale exit. Business executives like Rothschild & Co. Chairman Martin Kingston and former Absa Group Ltd. CEO Maria Ramos are helping out at South African Airways and the PIC respectively.In order to attract more talent from the private sector, the government is going to have to address key issues such as separating the roles between government boards and executives, according to Cas Coovadia, managing director of the Banking Association of South Africa. The organizations’ mandates also need to be clarified, he said.“To me this is the elephant in the room,” Coovadia said. “If you put an executive in place to manage an organization that has virtually no possibility of viability the executives will get frustrated and leave. A very tough discussion needs to happen on which are strategic SOEs and which have the possibility of becoming financially viable.\--With assistance from Prinesha Naidoo, Gem Atkinson and Mike Cohen.To contact the reporters on this story: Loni Prinsloo in Johannesburg at firstname.lastname@example.org;Roxanne Henderson in Johannesburg at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Rebecca Penty at firstname.lastname@example.org, Paul Richardson, Rene VollgraaffFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- Infobip, a Croatian technology company that counts Uber Technologies Inc. and Burger King among its clients, is weighing an initial public offering in New York as it makes plans to expand in the U.S.A public listing “is something that we are discussing at the moment," Silvio Kutic, co-founder and chief executive officer of Infobip, said in a phone interview. “We are constantly thinking, checking, when to go in this direction and maybe in the next few months, half a year, a year, there shall be a decision."The company provides corporations with technology to send notifications to customers through different channels, such as WhatsApp or text message. In March, the company said Uber is using its technology to mask contact details when drivers and riders communicate. The company’s customers also include Vodafone Group Plc, Costco Wholesale Corp. and Zendesk Inc.Founded in 2006, Infobip has some 1,750 employees who helped generated about 435 million euros ($485 million) in revenue in 2018, according to Kutic. Employees own 10% of the shares, with the rest shared among the company’s three founders.“We had about 30% annual revenue growth in the last two years and this year we are even accelerating," Kutic said. Demand for alerts from SMS phone messages are “still growing like crazy globally."The sector is highly fragmented. Infobip has strong domestic rivals in countries such as China and Brazil, but the largest is U.S.-focused Twilio Inc.Infobip is planning to take on San Francisco-based Twilio in its home market, where it sees most scope for growth. The company bolstered its presence in recent months in the U.S. by opening an office in New York, it’s second in the country, and after acquiring assets from Ericsson AB.“We are now preparing for our big push,” Kutic said. "Today, about 35% of our revenue comes from U.S.-based customers, but these are the digital native companies from Silicon Valley, who operate with us internationally."The U.S. is also where Kutic, who owns the majority of the shares together with two other partners, would someday like to see his company trading."For IT companies, there is much more liquidity and better exposure" on U.S. exchanges, he said. "It would be the crown on our works."To contact the reporter on this story: Rodrigo Orihuela in Madrid at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Giles Turner at firstname.lastname@example.org, Amy ThomsonFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
The data breach at Capital One may be the "tip of the iceberg" and may affectother major companies, according to security researchers
(Bloomberg) -- Swisscom AG’s Italian unit Fastweb is becoming the fifth wireless carrier in an industry that had aimed to reduce the number of mobile phone players in a bid to fight shrinking revenue.Italy’s Development Ministry awarded Fastweb the license last week, a company representative said. Fastweb, which offers high-speed internet services to consumers and businesses wants to attract more lucrative subscribers from rivals such as Telecom Italia SpA and Vodafone Group Plc in one of the world’s most competitive mobile markets.Fastweb had already provided mobile service by renting space on Telecom Italia’s network. Now, it plans to build its own infrastructure. The company paid about 200 million euros ($223 million) for mobile spectrum and towers from Tiscali SpA last year and then bought 5G frequencies for 32.6 million euros. In June, Fastweb also reached a deal with CK Hutchison Holdings Ltd.’s Wind Tre to share investments to build 5G networks in Italy.Fastweb’s move goes against the consolidation trend in the Italian telecomunications industry that started in 2015, when VimpelCom Ltd. and Hutchison reached a deal to combine their Italian businesses. Between 2013 and 2018, the Italian mobile industry lost 2.4 billion euros of revenue due to a price war among service providers, according to the country’s communications regulator Agcom.When Wind and Tre agreed to merge, industry executives hoped consolidation would ultimately cut the number of Italian carriers to three from four.Instead, France’s Iliad SA, one of Europe’s most aggressive phone carriers in term of pricing, entered the Italian market last year following a request by the European regulator to maintain competition.To contact the reporter on this story: Daniele Lepido in Milan at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Rebecca Penty at firstname.lastname@example.org, Dan LiefgreenFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- A consortium that includes U.S. cable giant Comcast Corp., James Murdoch’s Lupa Systems and Blackstone Group Inc. has made an offer for a stake in Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd., India’s largest private broadcaster, people familiar with the matter said.The group plans to snap up a 51% stake, which has a market value of about 190 billion rupees ($2.77 billion), said one of the people, asking not to be identified as the discussions are private. The bid is nonbinding, the people said.A deal could be announced as soon as Wednesday and there could be more investors, another person said. Deliberations are ongoing and might not result in a deal, the people said. Representatives for Comcast and Blackstone declined to comment, while a representative for Zee had no immediate comment.Zee, the Mumbai-based broadcaster controlled by former rice trader-turned-media mogul Subhash Chandra, is seeking a strategic investor to help pay off debts of its parent group as well as fend off competition from Netflix, Amazon and hundreds of local TV channels vying to tap India’s booming demand for content.A deal would give Comcast, Lupa and Blackstone control of Zee’s deep library of content and its ZEE5 platform offering Bollywood films and more than 90 television channels in 12 languages on-demand via Internet. Some of the world’s largest telecommunications companies, including AT&T Inc., Vodafone Group Plc and KDDI Corp., have been buying film and television production and cable TV assets to bolster earnings as subscribers level off.Shares of Zee slipped 0.2% in Mumbai on Tuesday afternoon, while the S&P BSE 100 Index was little changed. Comcast was down 0.8% in morning New York trading.(Updates with Comcast shares in final paragraph.)To contact the reporters on this story: Anousha Sakoui in los angeles at email@example.com;P R Sanjai in Mumbai at firstname.lastname@example.org;Baiju Kalesh in Mumbai at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Fion Li at firstname.lastname@example.org, Dave McCombsFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
Pay-TV software maker Synamedia, supplier to Comcast's Sky and AT&T's DirecTV, believes the pay-TV market will continue to grow despite the rise of streaming services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime Video. Chairman Abe Peled said he believed cable operators would increasingly be forced to offer packages that included access to those and other streaming providers, meaning they would need software to manage it. Consumers simply won't be able to pay for buying all these channels," Peled told Reuters in an interview.
After months of delay, Sprint (NYSE:S) looks set to get its wish and disappear into T-Mobile (NASDAQ:TMUS). S stock jumped 7.39% while TMUS stock gained 5.43% as investors reacted to the deal's likely fruition.Source: Shutterstock Washington reporters say merger approval could come "any minute" as Justice Department lawyers talk state attorneys general into dropping their opposition to the deal. The good news comes as T-Mobile announced earnings that beat estimates. The company earned $939 million, or $1.09 per share, on revenue of $10.98 billion. This came despite shelling out $222 million on the merger during the quarter. * 7 Oversold Stocks To Buy Right Now The earnings call to celebrate the numbers was delayed, as the company awaited word from the Justice DepartmentInvestorPlace - Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading Tips In Better Shape Than RivalsSince the deal was announced in April 2018, T-Mobile is up by 41%, or more than two times the average NASDAQ stock. Its market cap has increased to north of $68 billion, which with Sprint's market cap of $30.4 billion gives the combination a value of nearly $99 billion.That's a fraction of Verizon Communication's (NYSE:VZ) $233 billion, or AT&T's (NYSE:T) $247 billion. But Sprint no longer has technology debt, having decommissioned its wired service in 2017. T-Mobile has always been a wireless company. Verizon and AT&T still sell wired services in an age when wire cutting is more popular than avocado toast.Together, Sprint and T-Mobile had almost 30% of the U.S. wireless market at the end of 2018, against 34% for AT&T and 35% for Verizon.AT&T, however, had $167 billion in debt this year, much of it spent buying Time Warner, a content company. Verizon had $106 billion in debt, much of it spent buying its former joint-venture partner Vodafone (NYSE:VOD). Sprint's long-term debt in March was $35 billion, T-Mobile $25 billion.This means the new company is much better able to afford the cost of upgrading to 5G. Together T-Mobile and Sprint had $19 billion of capital spending last year.The bottom line is that Sprint and T-Mobile are, together, in much better shape than their rivals. They're a pure-play wireless company with minimal technology debt. If you believe 5G will be wildly profitable, they're by far the best place to invest. German WinnersReporters will write that the big winner is T-Mobile CEO John Legere, hired in 2012 when T-Mobile was a poor fourth in the U.S. market. Speculation over a Sprint merger began immediately, because Softbank Group (OTCMKTS:SFTBY) had just bought it for $20.2 billion with the aim of building a global carrier. It was assumed Sprint would be the surviving entity.Then Legere grew out his hair, started rocking t-shirts, and began marketing T-Mobile as the "un-carrier" with low-cost, innovative pricing schemes. T-Mobile overtook Sprint in market share, and Softbank shifted to its Vision Fund, taking big stakes in a wide swath of technology companies.The biggest winner, however, is Deutsche Telekom (OTCMKTS:DTEGY), formerly the state-owned phone company, still one-third owned by the government.It owned 62% of T-Mobile before the merger and will now own 42%, with nine of the 13 directors. T-Mobile dates its history from Voicestream, a mobile company formed in 1994, bought by Deutsche Telekom in 2002. * 7 Stocks to Sell This Summer Earnings Season The Germans spent more than $60 billion acquiring the assets that became T-Mobile but were willing to sell it all to AT&T in 2012 for $39 billion. Antitrust concerns scuttled that merger. The Germans are glad it did. Bottom Line for TMUS StockSo with Sprint stock certificates looking like soon-to-be historical relics and TMUS stock emerging as the surviving shares, what else should investors know?Well, for one, it's important to recognize that the Sprint-T-Mobile merger is being made because the partners are selling $3.5 billion in spectrum and their $1.5 billion re-sale business to DISH Network (NASDAQ:DISH), creating a new fourth carrier.But DISH's spectrum assets will now be operating assets, meaning their value will decline. It faces huge capital spending bills.The bottom line is simple: If you want to own a stake in the wireless business in the 2020s, TMUS stock is a must holding.Dana Blankenhorn is a financial and technology journalist. He is the author of the mystery thriller, The Reluctant Detective Finds Her Family, available at the Amazon Kindle store. Write him at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter at @danablankenhorn. As of this writing he owned no shares in companies mentioned in this article. More From InvestorPlace * 2 Toxic Pot Stocks You Should Avoid * 7 Oversold Stocks To Buy Right Now * 7 Stocks to Buy Upgraded by Wall Street * 7 Marijuana Stocks With Critical Levels to Watch The post T-Mobile Stock is Looking Like the Best Wireless Bet for the Onset of 5G appeared first on InvestorPlace.