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.
Facebook, YouTube and TikTok Approach 5.9 Billion Users in 2020
Facebook, YouTube, and TikTok to Hit 5.9bn Users in 2020, a 900 Million Increase YoY
The year 2020 has witnessed a surge in the number of social media users, with millions of people spending more time indoors and online amid the coronavirus outbreak.
According to data presented by BuyShares, the combined number of Facebook, YouTube, and TikTok users, as the three most popular social networks in 2020, is expected to reach over 5.9 billion by the end of 2020, a 900 million increase year-over-year.
The Number of Facebook Users Soared 430% in the Last Decade
As the biggest social network worldwide, Facebook has witnessed an impressive growth of its user base. In 2010, the popular social media platform had 431 million active users. In the third quarter of 2012, the number of active users surpassed one billion, making it the first social network ever to do so.
Statista Key Market Indicators data revealed the Facebook user base continued its immense growth in the next six years, jumping over 2 billion in 2018. Statistics indicate this figure is expected to touch 2.3 billion in 2020, a 430% jump in the last decade.
In the last quarterly earnings report, the company stated that almost 3 billion people were using at least one of its core products, including Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, and Messenger, each month.
Analyzed by geography, India represents the largest Facebook market, with 290 million users as of July. The United States, Indonesia, and Brazil follow with 190 million, 140 million, and 130 million Facebook users, respectively. By the end of 2026, the number of Facebook users is expected to rise to 2.8 billion globally.
TikTok User Base Surged 1555% in Three Years
Statista data indicated the number of people using YouTube, the second most popular social network globally, doubled in the last three years. In 2017, the popular online video-sharing platform had over 1.4 billion users. In the next two years, this figure jumped to almost 2 billion.
Statistics show the number of users continued growing in the last twelve months and is forecast to hit almost 2.3bn in 2020, a 15% jump year-over-year. The increasing trend is set to continue in the following years, with the video-sharing platform overtaking Facebook’s leading position and reaching more than 3.3 billion users by 2026.
With 311 million users as of October, India is the largest YouTube market. The United States, Brazil, and Japan follow with 216.3 million, 138.2 million, and 116.6 million users, respectively.
However, Statista data revealed that TikTok witnessed the most significant growth in the number of users in the last three years. In 2017, the Chinese short-form video app had around 82 million users. Over the last three years, this number soared 1555% reaching over 1.3 billion in 2020.
The United States represents the leading TikTok market with almost $3.7 million in revenue and 6.1 million iOS and Google Play downloads in September. Turkey ranked as the second top-grossing market with an $842,000 profit and 1.5 million downloads that month. Brazil followed with 3.5 million downloads and $468,600 in revenue.
The following years are set to witness remarkable growth of the TikTok user base, with the number of users rising to 1.8 billion by 2026.
Jack Ma Plans the Biggest IPO, the Billionaire Backed Ant Group to Raise $34 Billion
Ant Group Plans to Raise the Biggest IPO Money of $34.4 Billion
Ant Group backed by Jack Ma, the founder of e-commerce platform Alibaba and the richest man in China, plans to sell shares valued at $34.4 billion or £26.5 billion on the Shanghai and Hong Kong stock exchanges.
The company’s advisers set the price on Monday as demand among top global investors surged.
Once the company is listed on the two exchanges, Ant Group would have raised the most money in a single IPO and exceeded the previous record of $29.4 billion set by Saudi Aramco in December 2019.
It should be noted that Ant, an online payment, is only selling around 11 percent of its total shares. Therefore, putting the market value of the Financial Technology (fintech) giant at around $313 billion, the exact valuation of JPMorgan Chase & Co. and four times bigger than Goldman Sachs Group Inc.
“This was the first time such a big listing, the largest in human history. We wouldn’t have dared to think about it five years, or even three years ago,” Mr Ma said of the deal.
Mr. Ma, according to findings, owned Ant shares worth around $16 billion, taking his total net worth to about $80 billion once the company is listed.
The preliminary price consultation showed institutional investors through Shangai IPO subscribed for over 76 billion shares or more than 284 times of the initial offline offering, according to the Ant Shanghai announcement.
Ant, the fintech company that runs Alipay, the main online payment system in China, said the volume of payments performed by the company in the financial year ended June 2020 was $17.6 trillion.
Alipay now has 1.3 billion users with Chinese accounting for most of its users while the rest comes from its nine e-wallet partners.
Pantami Moves to Tackle $2.16bn Capital Flight from Telecoms Sector
$2.16bn Leaves Telecommunications Sector Yearly
The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami, has put the total capital flight from the telecommunications sector at $2.16 billion per year.
A large part of the total amount comes from those renewing and purchasing software licenses, domain subscriptions and renewals, and cybersecurity.
The minister said to stem the trend, the ministry has developed a policy to promote local content in the sector.
In his speech at the digital day celebration, Pantami said the Indigenous Content Development and Adoption, under Pillar #8 of the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (2020 – 2030), would tackle the issue.
Pantami said, “As part of our efforts to promote indigenous content, we have developed a policy for promoting indigenous content in the telecom sector to complement similar efforts that focus on the information technology sector.
“This is important to stem the tide of capital flight, among other things. A report of the Association of Telecommunication Companies of Nigeria suggests that such capital flight in the telecom sector is as high as $2.16bn annually.
“A healthy digital economy requires a robust indigenous content policy to significantly reduce this.”
Pantami stated that there was an urgent need to promote and support the development of indigenous content in all sectors.
He explained that the Indigenous Content Development and Adoption pillar was addressing this for the digital economy.
“This pillar aligns with Executive Orders 003 of May 2017 and 005 of February 2018, on ‘Support for Local Content Procurements by Ministries, Department and Agencies of the Federal Government of Nigeria,” he said.
Speaking on broadband, the minister said the Nigerian National Broadband Plan (2020-2025) was created to speed up the growth of broadband connectivity in Nigeria.
Pantami said, “The plan is designed to deliver data download speeds across Nigeria of a minimum 25Mbps in urban areas, and 10Mbps in rural areas, with effective coverage available to at least 90 per cent of the population by 2025.
“This will be at a price not more than N390 per 1GB of data (two per cent of median income or one per cent of minimum wage).”
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