Tue, May 29, 2018 - Page 10 News List

World Business Quick Take

Agencies

TELECOMS

S African firm’s profit falls

Telkom SA SOC Ltd cut its dividend and reported a slump in full-year earnings as South Africa’s biggest provider of fixed phone lines struggles with a decline in its traditional voice services. The Pretoria-based company reduced the annual payout to shareholders by 16 percent to 3.55 rand (US$0.29) per share, it said in a statement yesterday. Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization for the year ending in March fell 3.6 percent to 10.5 billion rand. The carrier reported a 47 percent increase in service revenue from mobile customers to 5.15 billion rand, supporting CEO Sipho Maseko’s push into new revenue streams to sustain the company. Telkom started its mobile unit, the country’s fourth-biggest with just over 5 million subscribers, to bolster its service offering to consumers.

PROPERTY

Investa gets takeover offer

Blackstone Group LP offered A$3.14 billion (US$2.38 billion) for Investa Office Fund in an attempt to land one of Australia’s most pursued property companies and dozens of office buildings across the country. The New York-based buyout company offered A$5.25 in cash for each share of the real-estate investment trust, 13 percent more than Friday’s closing price, Investa said in a statement yesterday. Investa’s directors plan to unanimously recommend that investors vote for the deal unless there’s a better offer. Investa has attracted suitors since at least 2015, when Dexus Property Group proposed a deal valued at about A$2.5 billion, a tie-up that was subsequently rejected by unit-holders.

EDUCATION

ISP mulls Vietnam deal

International Schools Partnership Ltd (ISP) is in talks to invest in the Canadian International School Vietnam, people with knowledge of the matter said, as foreign firms flock to Southeast Asian education deals. UK-based ISP, which is backed by Swiss buyout firm Partners Group Holding AG, is conducting due diligence on the school and could purchase a majority stake for about US$150 million including debt, one of the people said. The parties could sign an agreement as soon as next month, the person said, asking not to be identified because the information is private. Southeast Asian school operators have been attracting interest from foreign investors including TPG and Swedish buyout firm EQT Partners AB, which are betting that rising incomes will translate into increased education spending.

TURKEY

Announcement boosts lira

The lira and Turkish bonds rallied as the Turkish Central Bank decided to simplify monetary policy. The currency surged the most in more than a year as the bank said it would start using the one-week repo, which has not been used as its main funding tool since January last year, as its policy rate starting on Friday. The one-week rate has been set at 16.5 percent, the bank said in a statement. The change would help convince the market about the bank’s “policy independence and its commitment to do more,” Global Securities analysts including Sertan Kargin wrote in a note in the morning, referring to a news report that said policymakers were planning to set up a more symmetric structure by making the overnight lending and borrowing rates equidistant from the one-week repurchase rate. The lira strengthened 2.8 percent, set for the biggest gain since January last year, to 4.5870 per dollar. Bonds rose, with the yield on 10-year securities falling 46 basis points to 14.22 percent.

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