MTN Group Limited plans to gauge investor interest in a possible bond offering as Africa’s biggest mobile-phone company by sales seeks funds to pay for dividends, capital expenditure and a record N330 billion ($1 billion) fine in Nigeria.
The wireless operator has mandated Barclays Bank Plc, Bank of America Corp.’s Merrill Lynch, Citigroup Inc. and Standard Bank Group Limited to arrange a series of fixed-income investor meetings in the U.S. and the U.K. starting September 9, the Johannesburg-based company said in a statement on Wednesday.
The dollar-denominated bond offering “is expected to follow subject to market conditions,” Bloomberg quoted the carrier said. MTN’s move to attract funding comes after the company reported its first-ever half-year loss this month, partly caused by an agreement to settle the fine with Nigerian regulators and government. The subscriber base of 233 million didn’t grow during the six months through June, while MTN is struggling to repatriate 15.4 billion rand ($1.1 billion) tied up in its Iran unit.
“Pre-dividend free cash flow won’t cover payments of dividends and the fine in Nigeria this year and in 2017,” an emerging-markets credit analyst at Gimme Credit LLC in Tel Aviv, Alexandre Dray, said in e-mailed comments. “Therefore, the company needs to raise new debt or equity to keep a comfortable liquidity position.”
MTN issued a $750 million note in 2014 that matures in 2024, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The company sold a 1.25 billion rand bond in 2010, which matures in July next year.
After reaching a record high in February, the yield on MTN’s dollar-denominated note has fallen as the carrier negotiated and finally successfully settled talks over its Nigerian fine. Having peaked at 7.11 percent on Feb. 19, the note’s yield is now 4.81 percent and its spread to a similarly dated Treasury Bill has narrowed.
MTN is due to pay an outstanding N280 billion of the Nigerian fine in six installments over the next three years. The first payment, which MTN Nigeria says it has already settled, was due on July 8.
Mastercard And OPay Announce Partenership Deal
Fintech giants, Mastercard and Opay have announced a partnership deal to foster a global payment ecosystem to boost digital commerce in Middle East Africa and Africa at large.
This comes on the heels of the partnership deal Mastercard signed with Coinbase a couple of months ago to enable payments in the NFT marketplace.
Investors King gathered that the partnership with Mastercard is to simplify users’ experience in the NFT marketplace by allowing millions of people access the Coinbase to mint, purchase, showcase, and discover NFTs. Mastercard has said all the NFT-related transactions would be classified as ‘digital goods’.
This collaboration is the latest step in Mastercard’s emerging market strategy, which involves the technology company collaborating with fast-growing Fintechs like OPay to broaden access to digital transactions, encourage a variety of leisure amenities, develop new financial inclusion trajectories, and endorse the next formation of apps.
Customers are actively asking for a single platform that allows them to do numerous daily tasks more easily, such as sending and receiving money, ordering meals and groceries, scheduling transportation, lending, investing, and putting products for sale.
Customers of OPay will be able to pay on worldwide web platforms using Mastercard’s secure virtual payment system, which is linked to the OPay wallet.
With or without a bank account, OPay customers will benefit from a superior digital experience for a variety of lifestyle services and new digital commerce options.
In addition to enabling digital commerce, the two companies will collaborate to develop solutions that will position OPay at the forefront of financial services in the areas they serve.
Executive Vice President for Market Development, Mastercard EEMEA, Amnah Ajmal, said: “At Mastercard, our innovation strategy is rooted in partnerships to support inclusion at scale. Our partnership with OPay demonstrates our commitment to supporting payments providers across the world to create an interconnected global payments ecosystem that benefits an array of consumers with unique needs.”
CEO of OPay, Yahui Zhou, said: “As the leading fintech in the Middle East and Africa, we are delighted to be partnering with Mastercard as we continue on our journey to promote financial inclusion, helping to open up the global economy to more consumers and businesses across Middle East and Africa.”
Skaleet and Mobiblanc Announce Partnership for a Cutting-edge Technology to Serve Banks Across Africa
Skaleet, an international fintech providing a next-generation Core Banking Platform (CBP), has partnered today with Mobiblanc, an Agile Digital Services Entreprise (ESN), to offer turnkey solutions to financial institutions across Africa. The partnership will ensure that financial institutions have the capacities to launch new digital and innovative financial solutions that they can provide to their customers, whether businesses or individuals.
Mobiblanc, based in Morocco and Tunisia, is a leading player in North and West African markets entirely devoted to digital solutions. With a talented and dynamic team, Mobiblanc delivers an efficient and effective consulting and integration service for a wide range of clients.
Skaleet enables retail banks and financial institutions to launch new banking products and services for their customers at a competitive price. Through its open, modular, and flexible Core banking Platform, Skaleet offers innovative and scalable banking solutions that are built end-to-end and tailored to each customer.
The digital marketplace is continually, and rapidly, developing and evolving and the partnership between Skaleet and Mobiblanc enables financial institutions to ensure clients stay at the forefront with innovative and cutting-edge technology. Providing the best service and advice to clients, Skaleet and Mobiblanc are able to respond quickly to the digital evolution of banking and financial services with innovative and agile solutions that are competitively priced.
Yves Eonnet, chairman and co-founder of Skaleet said, “Today, it is essential for financial institutions to be able to innovate quickly and adapt to change. The ecosystem we have built relies on expert partners who are aware of this challenge and can find solutions. We quickly saw a cultural, technological and business fit between our two organizations and are delighted to have partnered with Mobiblanc. The partnership will enable us to further expand our offering and add value to our customers across Africa.”
Youssef El Alaoui, co-founder of Mobiblanc, added, “This partnership confirms our strategic orientation to support the digital transformation of the financial sector. We share the ambition with Skaleet to offer integration of innovative solutions with cutting-edge, technological expertise in order to bring added value to our partners and respond to the new business requirement of the sector.”
Both Skaleet and Mobiblanc are committed to continue innovating and creating new modules and functionalities to reshape the banking and financial ecosystem in favour of a formal, inclusive and sustainable development of the African continent.
Skaleet and Mobiblanc will participate at Africa Pay & ID Expo 2022 (APIDE), 26-28 May 2022, Marrakech, Morocco.
“We Suspend Over Half A Million Spam Accounts Every day” – Twitter CEO Reveals
Twitter CEO, Parag Agrawal has revealed that Twitter suspends over half a million spam accounts on the site every day.
In a series of tweets, the tech guru discussed extensively on the issue of Spam, how the impacts have affected human work, and how the company works extensively to solve them.
This comes barely three days after Investors King reported the reasons Parag sacked top Twitter officers.
“First, let me state the obvious: spam harms the experience for real people on Twitter, and therefore can harm our business. As such, we are strongly incentivized to detect and remove as much spam as we possibly can, every single day. Anyone who suggests otherwise is just wrong.
“Next, spam isn’t just ‘binary’ (human / not human). The most advanced spam campaigns use combinations of coordinated humans + automation. They also compromise real accounts, and then use them to advance their campaign. So – they are sophisticated and hard to catch.
“Some final context: fighting spam is incredibly *dynamic*. The adversaries, their goals, and tactics evolve constantly – often in response to our work! You can’t build a set of rules to detect spam today, and hope they will still work tomorrow. They will not
“We suspend over half a million spam accounts every day, usually before any of you even see them on Twitter. We also lock millions of accounts each week that we suspect may be spam – if they can’t pass human verification challenges (captchas, phone verification, etc),” he tweeted.
Further emphasizing on the challenge the team encounters, Parag said: “many accounts that seem like spam are real accounts and they cause the most damage to other users. In retrospect to that, the team updates the systems and rules constantly to remove as much spam as possible, without inadvertently suspending real people or adding unnecessary friction for real people when they use Twitter”.
He added that the use of private data is particularly important to avoid misclassifying users who are actually real.
“FirstnameBunchOfNumbers with no profile pic and odd tweets might seem like a bot or spam to you, but behind the scenes we often see multiple indicators that it’s a real person”, he said.
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