“Let's stop criticizing our banks!”

More than ten years after the subprime mortgage crisis, all the light has not been shed, and yet the idea of ​​the guilt of the banks has taken hold firmly in people's minds. They are even blamed for the double fault, since after playing with fire and triggering the crisis, they allegedly asked for help from the States. This unanimous condemnation, the result of incomplete analyzes, is a heavy component of the bank bashing that has raged since then and unfortunately works against our interests. We are indeed at a critical moment when Europe, faced with the domination of American finance and the dollar, must develop its own financial capacities. The development of a strong pan-European financial sector is therefore essential if we particularly want to foster the emergence of future European gafas. 
If it is vain to hope for the complete disappearance of this bank bashing and, one might say, of the bashing market whose roots plunge both in history and in ignor…

MTN leaves the Middle East to refocus on Africa

 Present in Syria, Afghanistan, Yemen and Iran, MTN is preparing its gradual exit from the Middle East markets to refocus its activities on the African continent. Talks are already advanced, particularly for the sale of its Syrian subsidiary.

In some time, MTN's activities in the Middle East will be a thing of the past. The South African telecoms giant is in advanced talks with Saudi TeleInvest for the divestiture of its MTN Syria subsidiary, according to CEO Robert Shuter’s revelations at an online press conference this Thursday morning.

The Middle East, a weak contributor to the group's results

While in the first half of 2020 the group recorded a turnover up 9.4% to 80 billion rand (more than 4.5 billion dollars), the activities in the Middle East did not contribute. than less than 4%. The sale of the Syrian subsidiary will in reality be a big step forward towards the exit of MTN from the Middle Eastern markets. Also present in Afghanistan, Yemen and Iran, the group plans to gradually sell all of its assets there in the medium term.

The objective for the yellow firm is above all to refocus on Africa where MTN is now active in 14 markets. “As part of our portfolio review, we believe the group is better positioned to focus on its pan-African strategy and to simplify its portfolio by exiting the Middle East region in an orderly fashion,” said Shuter.

Several hot and strategic issues

In recent months, MTN has made several adjustments to its investment agenda, like most companies around the world, due to the coronavirus pandemic. In addition to the contribution to support funds in its countries of presence, the group has internally launched a support fund for personnel in difficulty of 40 million rand (more than 2.1 million dollars), funded in particular by 30% of salaries of its management teams over three months.

On the other hand, one of the investments that will certainly mark the year 2020 is that related to Chenosis, its new programming interface (API) promotion platform. Officially open to the public on August 10, this pan-African marketplace will offer developers and businesses products and services including telecommunications, e-payment, e-health, e-governance, IOTs, fintech, e-commerce, security ...

So the group is refining its post-Covid strategy, several other hot files are being processed. According to Boomberg, MTN is considering selling its shares in Jumia valued at $ 243 million, again with the aim of refocusing the group’s activities. Alongside this, the group is closely following its plans to enter the Ethiopian market where it plans to bid for a license.

Who will be the next CEO?

With these important files, the coming months will also be decisive for the future of the group which is already prospecting to find its future CEO, after the recent announcement of the departure of South African Robert Shuter in March 2021, at the end of his contract of four years.