06 Jul

Africa’s Largest Data Center Firm Plans $73 Million Investment

Data-Center

Teraco Data Environments Pty Ltd. plans to invest about 1 billion rand ($73 million) as Africa’s largest data-center operator expands infrastructure to meet rising demand.

The closely-held business will have spent 4.5 billion rand on building data-services centers in South Africa when the current investment cycle ends in 2019, Chief Financial Officer Jan Hnizdo said in an interview Tuesday. Funding has come from a debt facility provided by Barclays Africa Group Ltd., also known as Absa, which is lending as much as 1.8 billion rand.

Teraco is investing to meet higher demand for data services in Africa as internet access improves and businesses adopt cloud-based technology. Internet giants such as Netflix Inc. and Facebook Inc. are seeking to reach more remote parts of the continent, while Amazon.com Inc.’s Web Services and Microsoft Corp.’s Azure need data storage

Teraco’s operations in Johannesburg are used by more than 200 African telecommunications providers and are able to provide 12,000 interconnections.

Read more: Africa’s Largest Data-Center Firm Plans $73 Million Investment – Bloomberg

12 Mar

MTN Seeks to Cash In on IPO of Africa’s Biggest Tower Company

MTN Group Ltd. could cash in from an initial public offering of Africa’s largest telecommunication towers company by selling a stake valued by the wireless carrier at about 27 billion rand ($2.3 billion).

IHS Towers, of which Johannesburg-based MTN owns about 29 percent, is planning an IPO in New York, people familiar with the matter said last year.

If the tower operator goes ahead with the share sale and the valuation is appropriate, MTN will look to sell out, Chief Financial Officer Ralph Mupita said in an interview.

“It is not strategic to lock up so much capital,” the CFO said. While MTN’s stake in IHS Towers is important, its been earmarked by the company as an asset for sale, he said.

IHS, Helios Towers Africa LLP and Eaton Towers Ltd. are all looking to take advantage of high industry valuations to sell shares and fund expansion, the people familiar with the situation said in November.

Helios confirmed the plans earlier this month, saying it would seek an IPO in London and Johannesburg and expects at least 25 percent of its shares will be freely traded after the sale. IHS Towers declined to comment.

MTN, Africa’s largest mobile-phone company by sales, is planning to cut its debt, Mupita said. Borrowings rose to 57 billion rand ($4.8 billion) in 2017 from 52 billion rand the previous year. The shares rose 1.2 percent to 133.60 rand as of 3:30 p.m. in Johannesburg, valuing the company at 252 billion rand.

Source: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-03-12/mtn-seeks-to-cash-in-on-ipo-of-africa-s-biggest-tower-company

06 Feb

Zuma’s Future Is in the Hands of South African Ruling Party’s Top Body

South African President Jacob Zuma’s future is in the hands of the ruling African National Congress’s highest body after he defied calls by top leaders to resign.

The ANC’s National Executive Committee will hold a special meeting Wednesday to discuss the transition from Zuma’s administration to one headed by the new party leadership elected in December and headed by Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, the party said in a statement on Monday.

Zuma, who’s due to deliver the state-of-the-nation address on Thursday, defied calls by the top six leaders to resign at a meeting on Sunday, according to five senior party officials who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Zuma’s response to the leaders was discussed at a meeting of the ANC’s 26-member National Working Committee on Monday, which decided to refer it to the NEC, the party said.

Two senior party officials who spoke on condition of anonymity said the party’s top decision-making body would decide at its meeting in Cape Town whether to force Zuma from office.

“This is the beginning of the end for Zuma,” said Theo Venter, a political analyst at North-West University’s business school in Potchefstroom, west of Johannesburg. “He has used up all his options. It remains in doubt whether he will deliver the state-of-the-nation address.”

While Zuma is due to step down in mid-2019, his nine-year tenure has been marred by a series of scandals and policy missteps. Critics say if he remains in office, the party could lose the electoral majority it has enjoyed since it took power under Nelson Mandela in the first multiracial elections in 1994.

The divisions Zuma’s leadership has exposed within the ANC were evident outside the party’s headquarters in Johannesburg on Monday, where the president’s supporters and opponents staged rival protests amid a strong police presence.

 

To read the full article, click here. 

07 Nov

S. Africa Pay Dilemma Means Bigger Budget Gap or Union Wrath

South Africa faces a stark choice: risk strikes by as many as 1.3 million government workers or meet their pay demands and jeopardize its credit rating.

After years of above-inflation increases, public-sector unions now want nothing less than “double-digit” raises from April 1, 2018, in addition to better housing benefits. The National Treasury has provided for average pay increases of no more than 7.3 percent in each of the next three fiscal years. The annual inflation rate is 5.1 percent.

“We cannot afford the government wage bill,” Mike Schussler, the chief economist at Economists.co.za, a research house, said by phone from Johannesburg. “We have got to either give people an increase below the rate of inflation, or we are going to have to employ fewer people.”

Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba tabled a bleak picture of the nation’s finances last month, with growth and revenue falling below projections while public debt may exceed 60 percent of gross domestic product by 2021. An inability to rein in spending growth and increasing debt threaten to trigger a downgrade of rand-denominated bonds by rating companies.

Efforts to put the continent’s most-industrialized economy back on track have been hamstrung because of conflict in the ruling party in the run-up to a leadership election next month, and as allegations of mismanagement of state resources dent tax collections and business confidence.

Last week, the National Education Health and Allied Workers Union, which has 295,000 members and speaks for the biggest number of public-sector employees, said it will reject offers of less than 10 percent and says pleas for austerity are undermined by reports of corruption at state companies. Government employees represented by the Public Service Association want increases of 10 percent to 12 percent.

Employee compensation is the biggest component of the budget, comprising about 35 percent of spending.

“Since 2011, government has been forced to restrict employee headcount growth to accommodate rising salaries — spending on compensation has continued to grow more quickly than nominal GDP,” the Treasury said in an Oct. 25 budget update. “A fair and reasonable compromise between government and state employees in the current round of wage talks is in the public interest.”

Read more: Bloomberg Markets

24 Jul

The top 10 wealthiest cities in Africa: AfrAsia Bank & New World Wealth

AfrAsia Bank and New World Wealth recently reviewed the 10 wealthiest cities in Africa by total wealth held.

“Total wealth” refers to the private wealth held by all the individuals living in each city. It includes all their assets (property, cash, equities and business interests) less any liabilities. We exclude government funds from our figures.

Top 10 Cities:

  • Johannesburg: Total wealth held in the city amounts to US$245 billion. Home to 18,200 millionaires (HNWIs), 970 multi-millionaires and 2 billionaires. Our figures for Johannesburg include Sandton. Major sectors in the city include: financial services (banks, accountancies, insurance), professional services (law firms), construction, telecoms and basic materials.
  • Cairo: Total wealth held in the city amounts to US$140 billion. Home to 8,900 millionaires, 480 multi-millionaires and 5 billionaires. Major sectors in the city include: real estate & construction, financial services and basic materials.
  • Cape Town: Total wealth held in the city amounts to US$135 billion. Home to 8,200 millionaires, 440 multi-millionaires and 2 billionaires. Major sectors in the city include: real estate, financial services (fund management), retail and tourism. Cape Town is also a second home hotspot for the wealthy with over 1,500 multi-millionaires living in the city during peak holiday months (many of these individuals are from outside South Africa).
  • Lagos: Total wealth held in the city amounts to US$120 billion. Home to 6,800 millionaires, 360 multi-millionaires and 4 billionaires. Major sectors in the city include: real estate & construction, telecoms, transport, financial services and basic materials.
  • Nairobi: Total wealth held in the city amounts to US$55 billion. Home to 6,800 millionaires and 280 multi-millionaires (no billionaires). Major sectors in the city include: financial services, real estate & construction, retail, tourism, FMCG, telecoms and basic materials.
  • Luanda: Total wealth held in the city amounts to US$48 billion. Home to 4,100 millionaires, 240 multi-millionaires and one billionaire. Major sectors in the city include: real estate & construction, transport and basic materials (oil & gas).
  • Durban: Total wealth held in the city amounts to US$46 billion. Home to 3,200 millionaires, 130 multi-millionaires and one billionaire. Our figures for Durban include Umhlanga, Ballito, Zimbali and La Lucia. Major sectors in the city include: real estate, finance, healthcare, construction, retail and transport.
  • Pretoria: Total wealth held in the city amounts to US$42 billion. Home to 2,600 millionaires and 110 multi-millionaires (no billionaires). Major sectors in the city include: basic materials, manufacturing and financial services.
  • Casablanca: Total wealth held in the city amounts to US$40 billion. Home to 2,300 millionaires, 110 multi-millionaires and 2 billionaires. Major sectors in the city include: basic materials, manufacturing and financial services.
  • Accra: Total wealth held in the city amounts to US$35 billion. Home to 2,300 millionaires and 100 multi-millionaires (no billionaires). Major sectors in the city include: basic materials, manufacturing and financial services.

Read More: African Business Central