The latest data released by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), the industry regulator, show that internet subscriptions stood at 140 million in October. This represents a y/y decline of -8.2%. However, we noticed a m/m increase of c.61,000 in subscriptions. The y/y decline can be partly attributed to the FGN’s subscriber identification Module (SIM) card regulation, which requires each SIM card to be linked to a National Identification Number (NIN). Based on our channel checks, the stress associated with the NIN-SIM linkage has resulted in customers abandoning SIMs of devices that are not their primary source for communication or internet connectivity.
Furthermore, over the past year, there has been a visible shift to fibre broadband internet subscription plans which do not require SIM cards to function. Residential estates are increasingly tilting towards this option given the heavy reliance on internet services at home due to the ongoing work-from-home approach.
Among the mobile network operators, MTN Nigeria (MTNN) accounted for the largest share (38%) of total subscriptions. We noticed from the commission’s data that in October MTNN recorded a 0.1% m/m increase in internet subscriptions. Airtel and Glo recorded m/m increases of 1.6% and 0.7% respectively. Meanwhile, 9mobile recorded a m/m decline of -1.3%.
Furthermore, the commission’s data show that outgoing porting activities was highest for 9mobile while Airtel was the chief recipient of incoming porting activities.
The latest earnings release by MTNN show that revenue grew by 22.9% y/y in Q3, compared to the 31.4% y/y growth it delivered in Q2. The solid sales growth was largely driven by a 57.3% y/y growth in data revenue, on the back of sustained data demand supported by fintech, digital services and partly by base effect.
Broadband penetration currently stands at 39.8%. Based on the national broadband plan 2020-2025, the FGN projects a broadband penetration target of 70% by 2025. In March, Anambra state waived right-of-way (RoW) fees for telecom operators as part of the state’s efforts to drive broadband expansion. The harmonisation of right-of-way (RoW) charges across states and local government areas would assist with boosting broadband penetration. The FGN proposed a RoW fee of N145 per linear meter of fibre.
We understand that the NCC plans to auction two slots of 3.5GHz spectrum license this month. The sale of these slots of 3.5GHz spectrum is expected to facilitate 5G rollout across the country. The commission disclosed that the remaining three slots will be auctioned over the next two years. The NCC has pegged the reserve price for the 3.5GHz spectrum at USD197.4m. Industry sources suggest that the successful 5G rollout will result in a boost to internet data speed at ultra-low latency as well as more reliable and increased network capability.
Turning to data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) capital importation into the telecommunications sector declined by -99.7% y/y to c.USD342,000 in Q2 ’21. This significant decline in investments into the sector can be linked to general investor apathy given the hazy macroeconomic environment triggered by the pandemic as well as infrastructure deficit in the telecommunications sector, high cost of services, low digital literacy, among others.
For Nigeria to become an active member of the current digital transformation within the global village, huge investments in telecommunications infrastructure are required. A deepened broadband penetration feeds directly into better internet access and the ripple effect of the latter on the economy attracts immeasurable benefits.
According to the latest national accounts, telecommunications posted double digit growth of 10.9% y/y in Q3 2021. Furthermore, the latest inflation report shows that communications prices rose by 10.6% y/y in October compared with 10.7% y/y recorded in the previous month. The telecommunications segment was already expanding rapidly and has been further boosted by the prevalence of working from home due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Sullivan, Ellis Were Top M&A Legal Advisers by Value and Volume in financial Services Sector in 2021
Sullivan & Cromwell and Kirkland & Ellis were top M&A legal advisers by value and volume in financial services sector for 2021, finds GlobalData.
Sullivan & Cromwell and Kirkland & Ellis were the top mergers and acquisitions (M&A) legal advisers in the financial services sector for 2021 by value and volume, respectively, according to GlobalData. The leading data and analytics company notes that Sullivan & Cromwell advised on 42 deals worth $105.1 billion, which was the highest value among all advisers tracked. Meanwhile, Kirkland & Ellis led by volume, having advised on 76 deals worth $20.1 billion. A total 3,854 M&A deals were announced in the sector during 2021.
According to GlobalData’s report, ‘Global and Financial Services M&A Report Legal Adviser League Tables 2021‘, deal value for the sector increased by 21.1% from $430.6 billion during 2020 to $521.3 billion during 2021.
Aurojyoti Bose, Lead Analyst at GlobalData, comments: “Kirkland & Ellis was the only advisor that managed to advise on more than 70 deals during 2021. However, it lagged behind in terms of value and did not find a place among the top 10 by value due to involvement in low-value transactions.
“The average deal size of transactions advised by Kirkland & Ellis was just $264.2 million, while it was $2.5 billion for Sullivan & Cromwell. Apart from leading by value, Sullivan & Cromwell also occupied the fourth position by volume.”
Wachtell Lipton Rosen & Katz occupied the second position in terms of value, with 26 deals worth $79.1 billion; followed by Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, with 54 deals worth $55.9 billion; Simpson Thacher & Bartlett, with 37 deals worth $51.6 billion; and Cravath Swaine & Moore, with nine deals worth $47.6 billion.
Alston & Bird occupied the second position in terms of volume, with 55 deals worth $7.9 billion; followed by Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, and Sullivan & Cromwell. Willkie Farr & Gallagher occupied the fifth position by volume, with 42 deals worth $13.8 billion.
Sub Saharan Africa Mergers and Acquisition Transactions Totalled US$ 129.7 Billion in 2021
Refinitiv today released the 2021 investment banking analysis for the Sub-Saharan African. According to the report, an estimated US$506.0 million worth of investment banking fees were generated in Sub-Saharan Africa during 2021, 8% less than in 2020 and the lowest annual fee total in the region since 2014. While debt capital markets underwriting fees increased 128% to US$150.3 million, the highest full year total since our records began in 2000, fees from equity capital markets underwriting, M&A advisory and syndicated lending all declined from 2020.
Equity fees declined 35% to US$56.9 million, while syndicated lending fees declined 17% to US$216.0 million. Advisory fees earned in the region from completed M&A transactions reached US$82.9 million, down 38% year-on-year to the lowest annual total since 2003. Fifty-five percent of all Sub-Saharan African fees were generated in South Africa during 2021, and 25% were earned from deals in the financial sector. Standard Chartered earned the most investment banking fees in the region during 2021, a total of US$37.7 million or a 7.5% share of the total fee pool.
MERGERS & ACQUISITIONS
The value of announced M&A transactions with any Sub-Saharan African involvement reached US$129.7 billion during 2021, more than four-times the value recorded during 2020 and the highest full-year total since our records began in 1980. The high dollar-value was boosted by the Naspers/Prosus share swap in May, and Redefine Properties’ offer for the remaining shares in retail property company EPP, which together were worth a more than US$70 billion. The number of deals increased 13% from 2020 to a four-year high of 853.
M&A involving a Sub-Saharan African target reached US$79.6 billion, again lifted by the share swap to an all-time record annual total, while the number of deals increased 21% over the previous year. Inbound deals, involving an acquiror outside of Sub-Saharan Africa, increased 164% to US$20.1 billion, while outbound M&A reached an all-time high of US$42.3 billion.
High technology was the most targeted sector by value in Sub-Saharan Africa during 2021, while the materials sector saw the highest number of deals in the region. South Africa was the most targeted nation, with US$63.7 billion in M&A announcements over the year, equivalent to 80% of total activity recorded in the region.
With advisory work on deals worth a combined U$52.1 billion, Morgan Stanley held the top spot in the financial advisor ranking for deals with any Sub-Saharan African involvement during 2021.
EQUITY CAPITAL MARKETS
Sub-Saharan African equity and equity-related issuance reached US$1.4 billion during 2021, down 43% compared to 2020 and the lowest annual total since 2005. The number of issues declined 38%, again to a 16-year low. Issuers in South Africa raised more in the equity capital markets than any other Sub-Saharan African nation during 2021, a total of US$979.6 million, followed Mauritian and Ugandan issuers.
Follow-on offerings raised US$1.3 billion in 2021 with Pepkor Holdings, Lighthouse Capital and financial services group FirstRand Ltd among those in the region raising new equity funds from follow-ons in 2021. Just one initial public offering was recorded in the region during 2021, MTN Uganda raised U$163.0 million listing on the Uganda Securities Exchange in December. Investec and Goldman Sachs share first place in the Sub-Saharan African ECM underwriting league table during 2021, each with a 24% market share.
DEBT CAPITAL MARKETS
Sub-Saharan African debt issuance totalled US$43.5 billion during 2021, up 125% from the value recorded during 2020 and the highest full-year total since our records began in 1980. The number of new offerings brought to market increased 46% over 2020 to a four-year high of 73. South Africa was the most active issuer nation during 2021, accounting for 26% of total bond proceeds, followed by Ivory Coast and Nigeria with 22% and 16%, respectively. DCM activity from Government & Agencies accounted for 51% of issuance during full year 2021, while financial sector issuance accounted for 26%. Citi took the top spot in the Sub-Saharan African bond book runner ranking during 2021, with US$6.7 billion of related proceeds, or a 16% market share.
World Mobile to Launch Connectivity in Public Spaces to Boost Zanzibar’s GDP
Blockchain network operator World Mobile, in partnership with The eGovernment Agency of Zanzibar (eGAZ), have announced the launch of free – metered WiFi internet access at all state agencies, Ministries, local Government offices, bus stops, the airport, ports, fish markets, municipal offices/markets, municipal/state housing estates, hospitals/clinics, and any other public facing government institutions.
World Mobile is the first blockchain mobile network powered and run by the people and fueled by World Mobile Token.
In the first 60 days, the partnership will aim to connect the airport, ports and properties owned by the National Housing Corporation of Zanzibar within the main island of Unguja, as part of World Mobile’s plan to provide connectivity to all of Zanzibar’s population by the end of 2023.
This is the first stage of an ambitious partnership and five-year plan which will drastically boost Zanzibar’s GDP, which includes a Blockchain Centre of Excellence, an eGov solution providing digital identities and integration with government systems, revolutionising the Blue Economy (enhancing how the local fishing economy works) and then taking this enhanced business approach to other industries.
“Zanzibar is on its path to becoming Africa’s blockchain hub, and we are thrilled to help make it a reality, sending ripple effects across the region. Together with IOG, our efforts to connect the unconnected will enhance Zanzibar’s economy in multiple ways.” said Micky Watkins, World Mobile CEO.
Said Seif Said, Director General of Zanzibar’s E-Government Agency added: “We are excited to shine a spotlight on Zanzibar’s emerging potential as the technology and blockchain centre of the future, starting with providing connectivity to people and businesses in the region. On this, we will build innovative new ways of conducting local government and boosting businesses, and we are looking forward to reaping the fruits of this spectacular initiative.”
RJ Katunda, CXO of World Mobile also added: “We are here in Zanzibar to listen, learn and assist, and with that mantra we already have an agreement with the Ministry of Education and Vocational Training in Zanzibar whereby we have been given access to all government owned schools and Educational Institutions to install internet connectivity. This will allow the schools to directly communicate through the EMIS system to the ministry and at the same time act as a World Mobile Node where the schools will earn a revenue share from all users connected to the node. This not only solves the connectivity issues for the schools, it also creates a new source of revenue for them.”
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