VOD - Vodafone Group Plc

NasdaqGS - NasdaqGS Real Time Price. Currency in USD
20.61
-0.05 (-0.24%)
At close: 4:00PM EDT
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Previous Close20.66
Open20.62
Bid20.34 x 1200
Ask20.61 x 2900
Day's Range20.60 - 20.74
52 Week Range15.53 - 21.73
Volume2,476,231
Avg. Volume3,409,793
Market Cap54.944B
Beta (3Y Monthly)0.79
PE Ratio (TTM)N/A
EPS (TTM)-2.82
Earnings DateN/A
Forward Dividend & Yield0.93 (4.51%)
Ex-Dividend Date2019-06-06
1y Target Est26.77
Trade prices are not sourced from all markets
  • Financial Times

    Vodafone signs flying car deal with EHang in Germany

    The British-based telecoms group will supply EHang with sim cards to connect its electric one- or two-seat drones to its network in Germany. “This is a significant step forward in advancing urban air mobility in Europe, with the goal being to create a new traffic ecosystem,” EHang's founder Hu Huazhi told the Financial Times. Mr Hu envisages his drones being used to transport everything from emergency medical materials to commuting passengers.

  • Moody's

    Unitymedia Hessen GmbH & Co. KG -- Moody's withdraws Unitymedia's ratings due to insufficient information

    Moody's Investors Service ("Moody's") has today withdrawn Unitymedia GmbH's (Unitymedia or the company) B1 corporate family rating (CFR) and B1-PD probability of default rating (PDR). Please refer to the Moody's Investors Service Policy for Withdrawal of Credit Ratings, available on its website, www.moodys.com.

  • Could The Vodafone Group Plc (LON:VOD) Ownership Structure Tell Us Something Useful?
    Simply Wall St.

    Could The Vodafone Group Plc (LON:VOD) Ownership Structure Tell Us Something Useful?

    If you want to know who really controls Vodafone Group Plc (LON:VOD), then you'll have to look at the makeup of its...

  • Helios Towers Finishes London Debut Strong After Muted Start
    Bloomberg

    Helios Towers Finishes London Debut Strong After Muted Start

    (Bloomberg) -- Helios Towers Ltd. rose 5.7% on its first day of trading after the company raised 288 million pounds ($364 million) in a long-delayed initial public offering that gives investors a foothold in Africa’s fast-growing wireless tower industry.Shares in the company that was backed by billionaire financier George Soros priced at 115 pence apiece, the bottom of the range, before closing at 121.50 pence.After a subdued start to the day, the shares perked up after Chief Executive Officer Kash Pandya’s comments on potentially using some of the proceeds for expansion. Helios is looking to add three new African countries to the five where it currently operates, Pandya said by phone after the initial public offering.Shareholders including Millicom International Cellular SA and Bharti Airtel Ltd. sold down their stakes in the London IPO, with Helios settling for a market valuation of 1.2 billion pounds.Helios has more than 6,800 towers spread across five African countries and the money raised from selling new shares will help it to roll out fourth-generation mobile services and keep pace with soaring mobile data consumption on the continent. It was originally looking to raise as much as $500 million.Read more: Helios CEO says IPO proceeds to be used for expansionHelios went public as many similar offerings are stumbling or being pulled. Two tech IPOs were delayed last week, citing market conditions, and yacht maker Ferretti SpA late on Monday reduced the price range for its upcoming sale.Not everyone is getting shy: special-effects company DNEG Ltd. is exploring selling shares in London to raise 150 million pounds to fund growth, it said Tuesday.Choppy MarketsAfrican and Middle Eastern companies have helped to keep the London IPO market alive, although with mixed results. Airtel Africa Ltd. has lost a third of its value since listing in June.Helios already had to cancel an IPO attempt last year. It was one of three African tower firms that tried to sell stock in London or New York. The most optimistic estimates gave them a potential combined value of $15 billion before choppy markets scuppered the plans and Helios’s two peers went down other routes.The biggest, IHS Towers, decided to raise $1.3 billion via the debt market in two offerings that will close next week. The other, Eaton Towers Ltd., is being bought by American Tower Corp.Following the IPO, Millicom holds a 17% stake in Helios, according to the prospectus. Quantum Strategic Partners Ltd is right behind with a 16.45% stake. Quantum’s investment in Helios is managed by Newlight Partners LP, which was spun off from George Soros’s family office in 2018. The firm is led by Ravi Yadav and David Wassong, who has a seat on Helios’ board.Helios serves carriers including Airtel Africa, MTN Group Ltd. and Vodacom Group Ltd. It’s the only independent tower operator in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Tanzania, has operations in Ghana and launched in South Africa this year.(Updates with trading close and CEO interview.)To contact the reporters on this story: Swetha Gopinath in London at sgopinath12@bloomberg.net;Loni Prinsloo in Johannesburg at lprinsloo3@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Rebecca Penty at rpenty@bloomberg.net, Thomas Pfeiffer, Kasper ViitaFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • The Upside to Facebook’s Libra Disaster
    Bloomberg

    The Upside to Facebook’s Libra Disaster

    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- It’s just as well that big companies that process and facilitate payments have quit Facebook’s Libra cryptocurrency project, fearing a regulatory backlash. If Facebook really wants to bring financial services to the “unbanked,” it should try doing it on a smaller scale than these companies’ presence promised. And even then, the probability of failure will be high.It’s clear why PayPal Holdings Inc., Stripe Inc., eBay Inc., MasterCard Inc. and Visa Inc. have decided not to join the Libra Association, which Facebook has been organizing to run the proposed digital currency. They took seriously the recent warning of Senators Brian Schatz of Hawaii and Sherrod Brown of Ohio that because of their membership, they could “expect a high level of scrutiny from regulators not only on Libra-related payment activities, but on all payment activities.” The concern is that a cryptocurrency used in conjunction with encrypted messaging could potentially be used in illegal transactions, and anyone involved in creating such an opportunity would be suspect.U.S. regulators are perfectly capable of scuppering major cryptocurrency projects. On Oct. 11, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission announced it had stopped Telegram Group Inc. from distributing digital tokens, so-called Grams, to the investors who contributed $1.7 billion to the creation of the cryptocurrency last year. These include major U.S. venture capital firms such as Benchmark, Sequoia and Lightspeed. The same could easily happen to Libra.That’s the problem with starting so big. Telegram’s token offering was the biggest ever recorded. Facebook made a big announcement on Libra and presented a list of partners that read like a Who’s Who of the payments industry. They envisaged global launches for their cryptocurrencies. Of course regulators and politicians were alarmed.To avoid this kind of outcome, Facebook — whose stated goal with Libra is to offer affordable payment services and loans to people currently priced out of the financial services market — could have tried the strategy that got results for one of its remaining partners, Vodafone Group Plc. Vodafone launched M-Pesa, Kenya’s storied “mobile money,” in 2007, and one of the project’s major assets was the Kenyan central bank’s consent to the launch without any formal regulation. Vodafone’s local cellular operator, Safaricom Plc, quickly built up a network of stores where people without bank accounts could pay in and receive cash, and old-fashioned mobile phones began to double as wallets for transfers and purchases. The lack of regulatory intervention and the large physical network, fed by relatively generous commissions, made sure that by 2019, M-Pesa claimed 37 million active customers in seven African countries. But attempts to transplant the service to many other markets have failed. Vodafone has closed M-Pesa in India (in part because of regulatory obstacles), South Africa (low customer interest), Romania and Albania (apparently it was unprofitable). Vodafone discovered there was no cookie-cutter solution. In different countries, lenders, retailers and mobile operators offered competing services, and regulatory scrutiny varied. To find countries in which to launch such an electronic money service, one would need to go down the list of nations with large populations of the unbanked. The top 20, according to the World Bank, includes big ones, such as China, India, Indonesia and Brazil.But in most of these countries, people are already using some form of digital money in lieu of dealing with traditional financial institutions. That’s why the list of 20 countries with the smallest percentage of people who have recently made or received digital payments looks completely different.In other words, it’s not easy to find a country where a lot of people have neither a bank account nor access to other kinds of financial services. And then there’s a chance that the cash-using population of a specific country wants to stay that way. One possible reason M-Pesa didn’t quite work in Albania and Romania is that these countries have large informal economies. With up to a third of gross domestic product “in the shadow,” traceable electronic transactions are unattractive compared with cash. These difficulties of finding good target markets, and ones with friendly regulators to boot, should explain Facebook’s desire to launch at scale, to throw everything at the wall and see what sticks. But the risk with this approach is that the idea of offering cheap financial services to the unbanked begins to look like a smokescreen for building a huge unregulated bank in the developed world — just what regulators in Europe and the U.S. fear the most.Instead of pushing ahead with the remaining partners and risking the same kind of trouble as Telegram, Facebook should go back to the drawing board and start thinking of smaller projects tailor-made to specific countries’ requirements. Expansion would be slow, and there would be failures and miscalculations along the way, but regulators in each market might be easier to persuade that the project’s goals aren’t nefarious. To contact the author of this story: Leonid Bershidsky at lbershidsky@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Tobin Harshaw at tharshaw@bloomberg.netThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Leonid Bershidsky is Bloomberg Opinion's Europe columnist. He was the founding editor of the Russian business daily Vedomosti and founded the opinion website Slon.ru.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Financial Times

    Vodafone puts Germany at heart of grand design to challenge rivals

    Hirschburg is one of the stranger assets to be found on Vodafone’s books. The UK telecoms company inherited the gothic 19th-century palace as part of its blockbuster £112bn acquisition of Germany’s Mannesmann at the turn of the millennium. of Unitymedia, the German cable network it bought from Liberty Global alongside three smaller assets in eastern Europe.

  • UPDATE 3-Facebook's Libra announces board as support shrinks further
    Reuters

    UPDATE 3-Facebook's Libra announces board as support shrinks further

    LONDON/SAN FRANCISCO, Oct 14 (Reuters) - Backers of Facebook Inc's Libra cryptocurrency project pledged to forge ahead after selecting a five-member board on Monday, shrugging off the latest member defection by online travel company Booking Holding earlier in the day. The owner of Priceline, Kayak and Booking.com on Monday confirmed that it had pulled out of the group, which is trying to bring digital coins into mainstream commerce. Libra lost its last global payments backers on Friday, when Mastercard Inc and Visa Inc abandoned the Geneva-based Libra Association.

  • Did Cable Cowboy John Malone Just Blink in a Deal?
    Bloomberg

    Did Cable Cowboy John Malone Just Blink in a Deal?

    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- Did John Malone just blink in an M&A deal? The cable tycoon’s Liberty Global Plc has just agreed to help finance Sunrise Communications Group AG’s 6.3 billion Swiss francs ($6.3 billion) purchase of Liberty’s business in Switzerland. It’s a neat way of lending a helping hand to a struggling buyer without being seen to soften the terms of the deal itself. It still may not be enough to get the transaction done.Sunrise’s purchase of Malone’s UPC Switzerland has been on the ropes for months. The Swiss buyer’s biggest shareholder, German telecoms operator Freenet AG, and a couple of investment funds are opposed. Sunrise needs to do a 2.8 billion Swiss franc rights offer to pay for the deal, which in turn depends on majority shareholder support. Freenet’s opposition is unhelpful enough given its 25% stake. Last week, the shareholder advisory service ISS also recommended that investors withhold their support.That has rattled Liberty. Malone’s group now says it will put as much as 500 million Swiss francs into the rights offer if Sunrise’s own investors (most likely Freenet) don't stump up. This could be seen as a vote of confidence in the enlarged Sunrise from the American billionaire, which might make shareholders feel more comfortable about voting in favor of the fundraising. But the move could be seen equally as the price Liberty is willing to pay to get a deal over the line without amending the headline terms, for example by cutting the price or taking stock instead of cash.This deal isn’t cheap but it makes sense for Sunrise. The buyer reckons UPC is worth 5.1 billion Swiss francs on a standalone basis, and it values the cost savings and revenue gains of a deal at some 3.1 billion francs. That total value is worth nearly 2 billion francs more than the price being paid.Sure, UPC is probably worth less than Sunrise reckons. The same goes for those savings. Say UPC is more plausibly worth about 4.6 billion euros, based on it maybe making 600 million francs of Ebitda this year and commanding a multiple just shy of where Sunrise trades. And say you cut those anticipated savings by 25% and they’re worth 2.3 billion francs. On this view, the total value to Sunrise shareholders would still exceed the price paid, plus they would keep all the upside if the financial benefits of a deal turned out better than hoped.Sunrise shareholders could kill the deal in the hope of striking a better transaction with Liberty at a later date — maybe involving less cash, more stock and a cheaper price. After all, it’s now clear that Malone is fine with taking Sunrise shares. But Liberty is flush with cash at present from selling assets to Vodafone Group Plc. It can afford to spend some of that in defense of its interests. There's a big leap from that to believing Malone should, let alone will, swallow worse terms another day.To contact the author of this story: Chris Hughes at chughes89@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: James Boxell at jboxell@bloomberg.netThis 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.

  • Ethiopian Premier Abiy Wins Nobel Peace Prize for Eritrea Accord
    Bloomberg

    Ethiopian Premier Abiy Wins Nobel Peace Prize for Eritrea Accord

    (Bloomberg) -- Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed won the Nobel Peace Prize for his work to end almost two decades of conflict with neighboring Eritrea.Abiy was honored for his “efforts to achieve peace and international cooperation, and in particular for his decisive initiative to resolve the border conflict with neighboring Eritrea,” the Oslo-based Norwegian Nobel Committee said in a statement Friday. It’s the second successive year the prize has gone to an African -- in 2018, Congolese doctor Denis Mukwege was the joint winner of the award for his work against sexual violence.“It is a prize given to Africa, given to Ethiopia and I can imagine how the rest of Africa’s leaders will take it positively to work on peace-building processes in our continent,” Abiy said in an audio recording of the Nobel committee informing him of the award.Abiy, 43, became Africa’s youngest leader when he was appointed prime minister in March 2018. He immediately set about implementing a swathe of economic and political reforms aimed at opening up the economy to increased foreign investment and freeing up the political space for opposition parties.Three months later, he made an historic visit to the Eritrean capital, Asmara, and met President Isaias Afwerki, to close a bloody chapter in the nation’s history: a 1998-2000 border war between the two states claimed as many as 100,000 lives. The nations clashed sporadically over the ensuing years, arming rebel groups in each others’ countries.While the rapprochement persuaded the United Nations to lift decade-old sanctions on Eritrea, there’s been scant progress since then. Four border crossings opened at the time of Abiy’s visit have since been closed without explanation. Territorial demarcations outlines by a 2002 boundary commission -- an initial condition of peace between the two countries -- remain unimplemented.At home, Abiy’s unbanning of Ethiopian opposition and rebel groups, has stoked political fragmentation and long-suppressed rivalries among ethnic communities. That’s led regional groups to intensify calls for more self-determination.Abiy’s changes have also faced growing opposition from anti-government groups and within the ruling party, which has factionalized under his rule. In June, attacks that claimed the lives of five senior government officials highlighted the extent of the challenges facing Abiy.Abiy has also begun implementing measures to attract more foreign investment to Ethiopia, with plans to open up the state-controlled telecommunications and other industries to private investors. That’s piqued the interest of companies including Orange SA, MTN Group Ltd. and Vodafone Group Plc.Ethiopia will be the fastest-growing economy in Africa this year, according to the International Monetary Fund, and globally only Bhutan, Yemen and Brunei will grow faster. The nation’s Eurobonds due December 2024 have returned 13.2% this year, more than the 13% average for sub-Saharan African sovereigns. Only Angola, Cameroon and Congo have offered better returns out of 17 nations on the continent that have sold Eurobonds.Born on Aug. 15, 1976, in the small town of Beshasha in Ethiopia’s Oromia state, Abiy holds masters degrees in business administration and transformational leadership and a PhD in traditional conflict resolution. He’s served as a lieutenant-colonel in the Ethiopian National Defense Force, an acting director of the country’s cyber-security intelligence agency and science and technology minister.Past laureates include former U.S. President Barack Obama and civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. The peace prize, along with awards in literature, physics and medicine, was created by Swedish industrialist Alfred Nobel and first awarded in 1901. The economics prize, set to be revealed on Monday, was instituted by the Swedish central bank.(Updates with comment by Abiy in third paragraph)\--With assistance from Sveinung Sleire, Mike Cohen, Rene Vollgraaff and Robert Brand.To contact the reporters on this story: Nizar Manek in Nairobi at nmanek2@bloomberg.net;Mikael Holter in Oslo at mholter2@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Jonas Bergman at jbergman@bloomberg.net, Paul Richardson, Gordon BellFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Hedge Funds Dropped The Ball on Vodafone Group Plc (VOD)
    Insider Monkey

    Hedge Funds Dropped The Ball on Vodafone Group Plc (VOD)

    Legendary investors such as Jeffrey Talpins and Seth Klarman earn enormous amounts of money for themselves and their investors by doing in-depth research on small-cap stocks that big brokerage houses don't publish. Small cap stocks -especially when they are screened well- can generate substantial outperformance versus a boring index fund. That's why we analyze the […]

  • Jio’s U-Turn on Voice Calls Lifts Vodafone, Bharti Shares
    Bloomberg

    Jio’s U-Turn on Voice Calls Lifts Vodafone, Bharti Shares

    (Bloomberg) -- Shares of Vodafone Idea Ltd. and Bharti Airtel Ltd. surged after the wireless carrier controlled by Indian billionaire Mukesh Ambani said it will end free voice calls on its network.Vodafone Idea rallied as much as 18% before ending the day with a 6% gain at the highest price since August. Bharti climbed 5% to the highest level since April last year, while Reliance Industries Ltd.’s shares rose for a third day.Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd. will charge customers 6 paise per minute for calls made to rival networks till such time that the telecom regulator moves to a zero termination-charge regime, the company said after market on Wednesday. Jio users, however, will be compensated with free data of similar value.The move “seems like a big deal, insofar as the market has been waiting for Jio to move from a land grabber to focusing on profitable growth,” Chris Lane, an analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein said in a note.Reliance Jio stormed into the industry in 2016, and became the nation’s top telecom operator this year after free calls and cheap data lured millions of users and left rivals struggling under mounting debt. Vodafone Idea’s shares, for instance, are down more than 70% this year despite Thursday’s surge.READ: Bharti Airtel’s Losses May Ease as Jio Boosts User Fees: ReactJio has paid about 135 billion rupees ($1.9 billion) in user fees to rival operators since its launch, according to the statement. The regulator had planned to scrap these charges from January next year, but floated a fresh consultation paper to see if the date needed to be revised -- a move that forced Jio to go back on its promise to keep voice calls free.Here’s what brokerages said about Jio’s announcement:Sanford C. Bernstein“Jio’s effective 10% price increase should be a breadth of fresh air for the likes of Vodafone Idea, which has been left for dead, and Bharti Airtel”The first has an outperform recommendation on Bharti Airtel, while Vodafone is the preferred play on the sector due to “the extreme, asymmetric risk-reward.”Edelweiss Securities“Reliance Jio’s tariff hike is prima facie positive for the industry as it enables other operators to raise tariffs too.Other operators may see a drop in calls terminating on their networks, but the tariff hike should be able to compensate for it well. We are already building in 4% higher Q4FY20 ARPU (average revenue per user) for Bharti and Vodafone Idea than Q1FY20.”Dolat Capital Market“Jio’s majority subscriber base is on bundled plans and it is thus easier for it to charge for off-net calls which may not be the case with Bharti and Vodafone Idea.Nevertheless, we believe Bharti and Vodafone Idea may either replicate Jio’s move or innovate on product front to capitalize from Jio’s price increase.”Emkay Global Financial Services“Competition will follow suit with tariff hikes for their bundled plan subscribers, which should result in an ARPU increase of 7 rupee and 4 rupees for Bharti and Vodafone, respectively.Jio, on the other hand, will witness an ARPU increase of 17 rupees following the move.”(Closes shares in second paragraph)To contact the reporter on this story: P R Sanjai in Mumbai at psanjai@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Sam Nagarajan at samnagarajan@bloomberg.net, Ravil Shirodkar, Bhuma ShrivastavaFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Reuters

    CORRECTED (OFFICIAL)-UPDATE 2-Vodafone to close more than 1,000 stores

    Vodafone will shut 15% of its 7,700 stores and upgrade some of the remaining outlets as customers buy more online and change their expectations of in-store shopping, chief executive Nick Read said on Tuesday. Around 5,000 of Vodafone's stores are in Europe, with the remainder in markets such as Asia and Africa. Customer service offered by Apple and Amazon had changed expectations, and Vodafone hopes to improve its services faster than former incumbent rivals like BT, Deutsche Telekom and Telefonica with targeted and personalised marketing, he said.

  • Vodafone to close more than 1,000 stores
    Reuters

    Vodafone to close more than 1,000 stores

    Vodafone will shut 15% of its 7,700 stores and upgrade some of the remaining outlets as customers buy more online and change their expectations of in-store shopping, chief executive Nick Read said on Tuesday. Around 5,000 of Vodafone's stores are in Europe, with the remainder in markets such as Asia and Africa. Customer service offered by Apple and Amazon had changed expectations, and Vodafone hopes to improve its services faster than former incumbent rivals like BT , Deutsche Telekom and Telefonica with targeted and personalized marketing, he said.

  • Corrected (Official): Vodafone to reduce store footprint by 15% - CEO
    Reuters

    Corrected (Official): Vodafone to reduce store footprint by 15% - CEO

    Vodafone will reduce its store footprint by 15%, chief executive Nick Read said on Tuesday, as the telecoms firm makes better use of data to optimise its store estate. Vodafone has around 5,000 stores in Europe.

  • Reuters

    CORRECTED (OFFICIAL)-Vodafone to reduce store footprint by 15% - CEO

    Vodafone will reduce its store footprint by 15%, chief executive Nick Read said on Tuesday, as the telecoms firm makes better use of data to optimise its store estate. Vodafone has around 5,000 stores in Europe.

  • Financial Times

    Vodafone to close 1,000 shops across Europe

    Vodafone is to shut 1,000 shops as part of an overhaul of its retail estate. The telecoms company operates 7,700 stores across Europe but wants to change its role on the high street to reflect changing consumer behaviour. Nick Read, chief executive, said it also expected to transform roughly 40 per cent of its stores.

  • British stocks advance, as BP, IAG climb
    MarketWatch

    British stocks advance, as BP, IAG climb

    U.K. stocks lumbered higher on Monday, catching up to the stellar gains made on Wall Street in the previous session.

  • Vodafone tests new network tech in UK in challenge to 'big three' suppliers
    Reuters

    Vodafone tests new network tech in UK in challenge to 'big three' suppliers

    Vodafone is testing innovative open access radio technology in Britain - a first for Europe - in a move that could break the grip Huawei, Ericsson and Nokia hold on the telco equipment market. OpenRAN, which has been developed by Vodafone and Intel, standardizes the design of hardware and software in the infrastructure, masts and antennae that make up the radio access network that carries mobile calls and data. Vodafone, the world's second largest mobile operator, has trialled the technology in laboratories in South Africa and deployed it in Turkey to deliver 2G and 4G services to customers in both urban and rural areas.

  • Cell C Seeks Network Deal With MTN in Battle for Survival
    Bloomberg

    Cell C Seeks Network Deal With MTN in Battle for Survival

    (Bloomberg) -- Cell C Pty Ltd. is in advanced talks with MTN Group Ltd. to gain more access to its network as South Africa’s third-biggest mobile-phone company strives to overcome mounting losses and add products such as financial services.An extended roaming deal could be concluded within the next month, Chief Executive Officer Douglas Craigie Stevenson said in an interview. Cell C will gain additional access to MTN’s network in major cities such as Johannesburg and Cape Town.“We are not a tower-owning company, our profits have to come from the services that we are able to offer customers,” said the CEO, who took charge on a permanent basis last month to replace the ousted Jose Dos Santos.Cell C is struggling under 9 billion rand ($596 million) of debt, while full-year losses have ballooned to 8 billion rand from 656 million rand a year earlier. Its management team is in weekly calls with lenders to update them on plans and ensure the company pushes through a re-capitalization by the end of the year.MTN confirmed it’s in discussions with Cell C. “We believe there are still opportunities to pursue, to the benefit of both businesses,” spokeswoman Jacqui O’Sullivan said in an emailed response to questions.Liquidity LifelineA group of local banks have committed to provide temporary liquidity and extended the maturity of 1.2 billion rand of debt that was due to be repaid last month, Cell C said in a presentation on Thursday.South Africa’s telecommunications market is dominated by Johannesburg-based rivals MTN and Vodacom Group Ltd., meaning smaller rivals such as Cell C have struggled. The carrier has come close to collapse on previous occasions, and in 2016 was rescued by a funding plan led by Blue Label Telecoms Ltd.“It’s always been a stressed investment and a company that has not been performance-managed,” said Craigie Stevenson. “Deals were done to fix a funding gap, and did not have thought-out longevity.”Other investments, such in TV-content platform Black, have absorbed cash without generating appropriate returns, the company said.New management is examining all costs and looking to get the most out of Cell C’s assets, Chief Financial Officer Zafar Mahomed said in the same interview. The company wants the bad news out of the way so as to enable the start of a growth plan, he said.Blue Label shares have slumped 45% this year, valuing the group at 2.7 billion rand.(Update with graph and MTN comment in fifth paragraph)To contact the reporter on this story: Loni Prinsloo in Johannesburg at lprinsloo3@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Rebecca Penty at rpenty@bloomberg.net, John Bowker, Thomas PfeifferFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Reuters

    Zambia cancels license of Vodafone franchise holder over poor capacity

    Zambia's communications regulator said on Thursday it had canceled the license for Vodafone's local franchise holder, citing a lack of technical and financial capacity. Vodafone in 2016 licensed Afrimax, a telecommunications service provider in sub-Saharan Africa to offer customers high speed 4G data services using the Vodafone Zambia brand. Vodafone said it had terminated the agreement with Afrimax in April 2018, and had no ongoing relationship with the company.

  • U.K. stocks snap three-day losing run
    MarketWatch

    U.K. stocks snap three-day losing run

    U.K. stocks closed higher Thursday to end a three-day losing run, led higher by more defensive plays.

  • Eco-Friendly Phone Companies Brace for 5G’s Energy Bill
    Bloomberg

    Eco-Friendly Phone Companies Brace for 5G’s Energy Bill

    (Bloomberg) -- The next generation of telecommunications technology could be the key to ending years of stagnation in the industry. But it’s also set to create a difficult dilemma for European phone companies.Carriers shelled out $80 billion to power the world’s antennas last year, according to Nokia Oyj. The prospect of having to raise spending on electricity – energy demand could triple with the introduction of 5G equipment, according to industry body GSMA – won’t sit well with phone companies that are already struggling to pay their dividends. At the same time, firms such as BT Group Plc and Vodafone Group Plc have pledged to slash emissions, and that will require a rapid shift to renewable energy.Just as carriers are about to roll out vast quantities of power-hungry gear, they’re also promising to save the planet. And funds are tight. Accomplishing everything at the same time could be a tall order.“If they have set up ambitious targets for overall power consumption and CO2 emissions, those could potentially be in conflict when they start to roll out 5G,” said Jerker Berglund, industry consultant at JB Sustainable Approach AB. “Reducing total power consumption is going to be a challenge.”5G could unleash a 1,000-fold jump in data demand for connecting factories and cars and supercharging mobile devices, according to the GSMA. That’s an irresistible sales prospect for a telecom industry whose revenues have yet to recover from a slump that started in 2015.Next-generation antennas and masts can be 10 times more energy efficient than 4G’s. However, these power savings could get swamped by the surge in demand for new applications. 5G will link up billions of things that have never been connected before. To accommodate all these new connections, masts might have as many as 128 antennas, versus just four or eight on a typical 4G mast. Bouncing signals through cities may require thousands of transmitters and receivers to be bolted onto rooftops and street furniture. This looks like it will all require a lot more bandwidth, and a lot more power.What’s more, carriers can’t afford the cost of swapping out all their equipment at once, Berglund said. The rollout will have to happen gradually, so many masts will still carry less efficient 4G, 3G and 2G antennas alongside 5G ones. This situation could last for years – some 3G kit is still in place 18 years after that technology was introduced.This article is part of Covering Climate Now, a global collaboration of more than 250 news outlets to highlight the climate change story.Electricity already makes up about a third of carriers’ average operational costs, according to Nokia, and raising this will pressure balance sheets when the industry isn’t in a good place to cope. Vodafone has cut its dividend to conserve cash to pay for spectrum and capital investment. Bank of America Merrill Lynch analysts said Monday they expect BT to slash its dividend by as much as 40% to fund capital expenditure and price cuts.“As we consume more, power’s going up, and the industry is trying to bring that down as much as possible,” said Henry Calvert, head of future networks at the GSMA, the mobile industry trade body. “There’s a lot of activity in the industry about making the power we use more efficient.”But whatever fixes carriers make to lower energy bills – sharing networks, getting masts to autonomously power down at times of low data demand, introducing “beam-forming’’ so smart antennas can pinpoint devices instead of pumping out data indiscriminately – the surge in power usage creates a challenge for meeting emissions goals.Deutsche Telekom AG, for example, pledged a 90% reduction in carbon emissions between 2017 and 2030. In total, European carriers will have to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 6 million metric tons within 11 years to achieve their carbon targets, BloombergNEF analyst Kyle Harrison said in a research note.One solution is for the telecom companies to shift their power supply to renewables, but this can’t be done at the flick of a switch. Clean-energy contracts are complicated and can take years to negotiate.Carriers will be under pressure to sign new ones quickly to cope with 5G’s power demands, Harrison said. They’ll be vulnerable to striking bad deals, and price fluctuations in energy markets can turn some arrangements that initially look good into losers in the longer term. “The switch to 5G is going to put more pressure on telecoms to purchase clean energy and reduce their emissions,” he said. “Many clean energy deals can result in losses for corporations. Telecoms will need to put extra consideration into this as their power demand goes up, especially if losses will impact their investments into 5G.”To contact the author of this story: Thomas Seal in London at tseal@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Jennifer Ryan at jryan13@bloomberg.netFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Reuters

    RPT-Telefonica plans to offer voluntary redundancy to up to 20% of Spain staff -source

    Telefonica plans to offer voluntary redundancy to up to a fifth of its workforce in Spain, a person with knowledge of the matter said on Monday, as the telecoms company struggles to boost earnings in its home market. Europe's third-biggest telecom company will make the offer to all employees over 53 years of age, who total just under 5,000 in a national workforce of 25,000, at a meeting with labour unions on Sept. 11, the person said. Large telecom firms across Europe have been struggling to post strong growth against fierce competition.